What We Put on the Internet

What We Put on the Internet

I really thought about not posting any until I had more news, but this blog is really important to me.  I’ve had it pre-Simon and I will have it post-Simon (which is hopefully in like 20 years).  So, here’s another not exactly uplifting post.

During my mega-pouting session last week, I did a lot of pondering on the subject of what I put on the internet.

If I were to critique my blog, I would think that I’m a bit elitist, a bit judgey, a bit wannabe hunter princess and a bit smug about my journey with my freebie OTTB that went from green to can at least get around the ring and sometimes win ribbons.  Those are the negative things.

On the positive side, I think I write fairly well.  I try to have diverse topics, keep things somewhat interesting, be realistic about my goals and limitations, and be honest with my issues in this equine world.

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Though I don’t usually ask for feedback (sometimes I do), I often get it.  Some of this feedback I really appreciate, some I don’t agree with and can ignore (thanks but no thanks) and some I’m too sensitive about.  Mainly, when I expressed some concern that I was too heavy for Simon I was given a lot of feedback, including one person who (politely) messaged me privately saying that yes, I was.

Now I’ve reflected pouted about this for several days, and I’ve digested it. I don’t bring it up to start a “Am I or Aren’t I?” battle or bait everyone to comment about how wrong that person is and blah blah blah. Please don’t, this post is not about that.

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Instead, it’s about what I put out on the internet.  I put pictures of myself riding my horse, and it is obvious I am not a tiny person.  I state openly about my weight concerns… so am I opening up that dialogue simply by doing so?

When someone posts a jumping video that terrifies me, they’ve opened up a dialogue about equitation in my head.  Even if you’re like “don’t look at me!” … I’m looking at you.  I can’t help it.  I’m digesting the content which you are providing me.  If you ask for feedback, I’ll provide it whether it’s positive or not.  If you don’t ask for feedback, I usually don’t give any… unless I see someone struggling over and over and can’t seem to help myself.

Does that make me any better than people who give unsolicited feedback about me being too heavy for my horse?  I think it’s the same.

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I don’t really know the answer for this.  I could take the issues that I’m sensitive about off the table.  I could write a blog that is 100% doesn’t rock the waters and just post lots of pretty pictures of ponies that I take and only tell you when Simon does something amazing, but I’m not sure I want to do that either.

Not making any decisions or even getting that upset about it, just pondering.  What do you think?  What do you try to “put on the internet” and do you have any of the same thoughts/worries I do?

49 thoughts on “What We Put on the Internet

  1. Since you’ve brought it up, I will say something….

    I know you’ve said in a past blog or blogs that you think you’re too heavy for him so I’m just going to mention something real quick…if that is how you feel and it is often, just try cutting things like soda or juices out (if you drink them), maybe cutting out a type of food you eat often you feel is bad for you and doing some run/walk intervals (if you’re able to run, I know some people have knee problem)…you can do 30 minutes a day. You don’t have to go all hard core. I’ve honestly never seen Simon look like he is struggling, but I’m no expert. But if you feel that it is hindering or hurting him and you, just make small changes. They will eventually add up. **I also need to take my own advice**

  2. You know I struggle with this issue too: should I post that? And I know fear of what type of comments I will get back has stopped me from discussing certain things online before. It’s a very personal decision, and almost always the lines are blurred.

  3. I think that there are blogs that scratch the surface of honesty, ones that are simply a way to chronicle rides and progress, and then the ones that put it all out there so to speak (and certainly lots in between). I’m not one for airing out my dirty laundry and try to keep my personal life private, etc. But I do believe that my blog is a terrific outlet for honesty about my riding and journey with Riley. I appreciate feedback and I am the first one to admit when I am struggling or for that matter, post a not-so-pretty photo of me riding. We all have good and bad days, right? What I like about most of the blogs I read is that there that thread of honesty, as though I actually have a true sense of who this person is, at least as a rider or horse person. I debated posting the outtakes from my last jumping lesson because one their own, they depict me as a very poor rider who looks loose in the tack. I posted them anyway, rather tongue-in-cheek because the reality is I’m still figuring things out and Riley is still green and I will look back one day and laugh. I think we all have things we are sensitive about and that it’s easy to open ourselves up for unsavory commentary when we are honest. But from one blogger to another, I appreciate you not holding back and allowing us to be a part of your journey with Simon.

    Also, for what it’s worth, if you are cognizant of your perceived flaws and you’re working on them, then there’s no harm in revealing them online. You’re always going to have some people that just don’t agree with you and it’s easy to cut someone down from behind a keyboard.

    1. I agree about scratching the surface. Really, all blogs are some degree of that because we are CHOOSING what we put out there. Just the choices we make are interesting to me, and I was wondering sometimes why I choose to post what I post.

      For what it’s worth, love Riley and love seeing your progress 🙂 I didn’t think your jumping pictures looked bad at all!

  4. I totally understand your worries/concerns. I’m just a middling dressage rider, trying to learn and digest the ropes that lead to the upper levels (of which I am not even close to). But, I like to write in depth training posts looking at movements I’m working on. They help me understand my training at a deeper level, and others have told me they help them as well. However, that doesn’t stop me from sometimes feeling like I have no business talking like I’m a trainer. I’m not a trainer. I’m hardly qualified to ride at my level!

    I get over the whole thing by remembering that sometimes our trainers and experts forget what it’s like to be learning the basics and trying to string together a shoulder-in (for example) when you’ve never done it before. Maybe my little exposé is more helpful for someone just learning, and that’s worth it to me.

    In the same vein, I also feel like I need to be honest with my failings and talk about how I’m trying to fix them. That’s important for me to look back on down the line, and important for readers to see that I’m aware of my issues and thinking constantly about improving somehow. That’s how I see your blog … just another adult amateur trying to figure things out and understand as best as she can. And, I like that! 🙂

  5. I’m glad you are being honest with us. No one is perfect , our lives are not perfect. We all have struggles and insecurities. All the rest of us are all going thru something at some point in our lives. We must all persevere and move on. One of my major disdains of facebook/blogs is those people who only put up the perfect parts of their lives. It’s not true, it’s fake and not realistic. This blog is true, honest and raw real life! 🙂

  6. Blogging is hard for me. Putting up pictures, videos, and my opinions scares the Hell out of me. That’s why blogging has been good for me. It’s made me accept, that no matter what I do or say, there will always be people out there that have their judgemental or opposing opinions. It’s just life and I’m going to enjoy blogging what I think, feel, and about my struggles. I’m probably going to brag about any success (though Im doing it because Im proud of myself or my horse, not to show off). Honestly, I admire you for being so sincere and honest. That isn’t easy to do. Personally, I don’t look at someone’s blog and think that they suck, or don’t know anything, or are too heavy. If someone is out there trying, they deserve encouragement. I think there are ways to be honest without making someone feel like shit. I think that you’re right about people sometimes giving their opinion when it isn’t really asked for, but for the most part, their intentions are good. Sorry, I probably got a little off subject there.

  7. I have a policy of only griping about things that cannot be changed or to rally people around a cause that as a group we can possibly change, if I have the power to change it I work to change it. I too have a weight problem, but mentioning it and griping about it does not Change it, changing my behavior changes it. So unless you are looking for weight loss tips and advice don’t mention it. You have a mirror, you can see pictures of yourself on your horse, if you don’t like what you see and your horse is showing signs that he might be having trouble carrying your weight do something about it, only you have control over this issue. Get off the internet and go for a walk, you will feel better, you won’t feel judged and you, your family and your horse will be happier. I am writing this while on an exercise bike time to pump up the volume. Good luck!

    1. I understand the sentiment, but just because I am not currently blogging about making changes doesn’t mean I am not doing so. That’s not what the general theme of this post was supposed to be about, but I suppose it’s irrelevant.

      1. I am not a blog reader and I don’t follow your blog regularly, but being a transplanted Yankee in Texas, when I came cross you FB page I was intrigued so I read a little. I am a Yankee and a trainer being honest and straight forward is the way I work. I assumed you put things out there because you are searching for answers or solutions, and sometimes hearing it straight works for a person. I am sorry if I offended you that was not my intention, I have all the same struggles you have questioning my horses, myself and where I am maybe I just felt like we were too similar. I am sorry if what I wrote was too plain I just was on my exercise bike and in a cool down stage and wrote the response quickly, was trying to be brief. After a morning working horses only to go inside to work myself harder I may have been just talking to myself. Good luck to you and your horse.

  8. Whenever you put yourself ‘out there’ online, someone is going to have an opinion. To be an honest blogger, you need to be strong enough to take the comments and opinions of others in stride. Personally, I feel like you have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of, and being honest and up-front about who you are will only strengthen you personally and emotionally! You are who you are, and those of us who “know” you, know that you are constantly striving to be a better rider and a better human being. Keep on keepin’ on, girlfriend.

  9. I have a few thoughts on this post… And others you have made. First I will say that while we don’t always explicitly ask for a response or feedback the nature of blogging is such that you assume people are reading and people being people will comment. Sometimes this is the hallmark “your horse is cute” other times it is an in depth response to whatever subject you have brought up for discussion. Sometimes these people are positive and sometimes they are negative. I like to think that as a whole other bloggers in this community we are all a part of generally want each other to succeed. Whether that is in the show ring or simply accomplishing a goal of xyz. If we don’t want people to think about the things we write we probably shouldn’t write them on the interwebs.

    I typically follow similar guidelines as you have mentioned when it comes to commenting on blogs I read. When it comes to my posts on my own blog I always try to think about how what I am writing is going to be perceived. This usually leads to me either kicking myself down a notch or slapping myself back into reality to realize how woah is me I sound. (Not saying I don’t still sound like a brat or woah is me).

    When I post about a struggle of motivation or just a general riding struggle (such as your scary position example) I acknowledge that if I am seeing this problem others might too. If I am posting about it I expect that there will be those that have a helpful tip, those that judge me (silently or with comments) and those that can relate to what I am saying in some fashion (those are the people I feel like I really write for – when looking at my blog outside of it’s true purpose to me which is a chronicle of my time with Houston). Those people are the people who’s blogs I also want to read. If it’s always sunshine and butterflies I will probably doubt the honesty of a blogger.

    All of these things said you having negative feedback on another riders issues is no different than them having a comment about yours. Just because the issue might be different shouldn’t change the standard. If a blogger writes about something I don’t think it’s fair for them to only want comments from people telling them what they want to hear. We should also think about the things that we write that contribute to the opinions that people create.

    Hopefully what I have said makes sense. 🙂 sorry it’s a bit scrambled. And please know I say what I wrote with kind intentions and mostly as a reflection oh how I personally feel not necessarily that I think everyone needs to feel the way I do.

    1. Makes sense to me. I agree that having a comment about equitation is no better than having a comment about weight or something else sensitive. Like you said, the subject doesn’t dictate the standard… that’s a good way of putting it.

      I think it’s easy to forget that we don’t have to ask for feedback to get it when the feedback is positive. To use your example, it’s not like people are likely to ask specifically “So don’t you think my horse is cute?” I guess I have forgotten recently that because I blog and post on these issues, I’m going to get feedback whether I like it or not. I blame the sadness.

  10. I used to hem and haw over the pictures/video I put up until I basically said ‘screw it’ and put them up anyways. I’m not a good rider. I make no claims to be a good rider. I don’t have a well trained horse. I make no claims that he is a well trained horse. I invite criticism as long as it is constructive. A couple of times people have told me flat out that they think I’m a bad rider and that I’m over-horsed and I have no business riding Fiction.

    Fine. That is their opinion. Maybe they’re right. However, they get to see bits and pieces in time. They are not there to witness my every day rides; to witness Fiction in person and to see what type of horse he is. People have told me that they could do way better than me on his back (something I find laughable, but I’m willing to suspend some disbelief if they actually have credentials to their name). That is what happens when you put yourself out there. There is nothing people love more than to put others down (even if they see it as perfectly justified) just to make themselves feel better. I face this every day and initially it was hard to deal with until I simply stopped caring.

    Take advice you find helpful (even if hurtful). Filter out the useless ramblings of others that have no idea what they are talking about. We don’t get the whole picture from your blog – we don’t see you working to counter-act your weight or improve your riding, etc etc. we only get to read about it from time to time. There are bound to be misconceptions.

    /endnovel

    1. I was going to write pretty much the same thing.

      YOU are the one that sees your horse every day. YOU are the one the knows what you’re doing in your own life either for yourself or your horse. Post whatever the hell you want. If someone wants to be a bitch and judge you on it, whatever. YOU are the only one that knows what the real situation is, and if you feel comfortable with how you’re handling it (whatever “it” is), then that’s all that should matter.

      And your blogs is one of my faves and I lurves you, so fuck all other bitches anyway. 😉

  11. Not being a blogger myself, I can’t speak about what would motivate me to post something versus not post something. What I can say is that, as a blog reader, I get the most enjoyment out of reading blogs written by people who post about the things they are struggling with, or are insecure about. I like reading about people who are real, who struggle with things I might struggle with, because it makes me feel more normal and connected.

    I hope that you will continue to blog about things that might be struggles, and not just accomplishments. This has been one of my favorite blogs to follow, since I found it.

    1. Thanks for the kind comments about my blog. I have no intention of stopping to write about my struggles, just maybe tweak my expectations and perhaps execution a little bit 😉

  12. I appreciate both your honesty and your openness in this particular post. It’s so true that choosing to post anything on the internet is an open invitation for hostile, unhelpful comments – I’m continually amazed and surprised by what people will say under guise of anonymity! (Ever seen a really good pileup on the Chronicle of the Horse forums?!)

  13. I’ve found myself increasingly hesitant to post things that I feel might be controversial or show me or my horse in a negative light. You can see what that has done to my posting frequency! Not that I have a bunch of bad stuff going on but when I sit and second guess every post for a week, eventually the post never happens. It’s really too bad because I’ve seriously enjoyed sharing my ups and downs over the years and loved all of the great blog friends I’ve made. Not sure what caused the change but it is hard to deny that it has hurt my blog (currently working on a post about judging, we’ll see if it makes it out of the gate).

    Fortunately I’ve found most of the blog community to be friendly and supportive. I still read forums at times but you won’t find me posting to one unless I’m looking to be torn apart by all the expert sharks. And gosh, no public YouTube videos! I think you could be perfect and still get destroyed!

    I currently follow over 100 blogs. If I don’t agree with a blogger and the way they do things on a regular basis, I simply stop following them. Nobody is forcing me to read their stuff. Your blog is in no danger of leaving my feed! I enjoy it and it’s real. You’re a good writer and photographer. What’s not to like?

  14. I have always loved the honesty of your blog, and also the huge variety of topics that you write about.

    When it comes to what I put on the internet, I try to put everything in a positive light: I’m a pretty negative, sarcastic person in RL. I tend to dwell on the bad stuff if left to my own devices and beat myself up mentally over shit that goes wrong, be it professionally, personally or in my equine life. No one wants to read a downer blog, especially myself. My blog became an exercise in positive thinking and I think it is starting to finally rub off on who I am in RL. I have basically lightened up on life in general thanks to the blog.

    I try to highlight the successes of my two horses because they are good horses. All horses are good horses; most behavioral issues are either health or training problems that need to be addressed. I will mention bad stuff that happens (like the post I have in the works right now), but I dwell so much on the bad stuff in my head that the blog is a way for me to write down the positive things, the successes, that I will otherwise take for granted or even forget! I will make note of health stuff or behavioral changes as a way to keep track of them for future reference: when it started, how it was resolved, what worked, what didn’t. And if it helps others who might have the same problem later on, even better. I try to find humor in the bad stuff whenever possible, which I have realized doesn’t always come off in the blog the way I think it does (or some people just don’t understand my sense of humor, which is okay 🙂 ).

    When it comes to commenting on others’ blogs, I’m admittedly not the best nor the most consistent. If someone asks for help and there is something that can be added to the comments already posted, I’ll add my two cents if I think it might be helpful. If I don’t agree with the blogger, I won’t comment at all. If I don’t have something good to say, I won’t say anything at all. That’s what forums like COTH are for. But at the same time, I don’t comment just for the sake of commenting either. And if I don’t like a blogger or her content, I simply stop following them.

    I love your blog. Please don’t change a thing!

  15. I had a couple of thoughts to share…..
    As a blog reader: I learn from reading about other writers struggles and, hopefully, am able to lift their spirits just a smidge by leaving a nice comment. For being a very judgey person in real life- on reflection I very rarely think judgmentally let alone write it in a comment as I read through my blogroll. And that’s what I enjoy so much about this group- it’s a really supportive team. However, I don’t assume that if feedback isn’t asked for that I can’t jump in and share my own experience or make a recommendation. I also recognize that this person is managing through their own path in life- why not just be supportive of that journey? Many of your readers are challenged by the same things and in reading about your struggles give a sense of solidarity and open a thread of discussion.

    As a blog writer: It’s just the nature of the web that by posting photos of myself, horse, and ride that I am opening up the forum for discussion. If I did not want to hear the good, bad, and ugly from fellow bloggers then I would simply turn off my comments. But for every constructive criticism there are 10 more comments that give the warm and fuzzies- does the one bad really make such a difference? I’ll also add that when I am blogging about a struggle situation I always try to include a possible solution. So when you say that you are truly worried that you are now too heavy for Simon- had it been me – would have followed up with some type of solution such as, “so I’ve committed to X, Y, or Z so that I can confirm that my weight isn’t part of the problem (such as- checking with the vet).” It helps to close the door on opportunity for unproductive negative feedback if there’s a possible solution in place already. Clearly this applies the same way to equitation, horse care, any topic really.

    I can completely understand why you are sensitive to feedback from others- our horses and the equestrian lifestyle make up who we are.
    That being said- if I mentioned in a post how I was worried that my toenails were becoming too long and my boots may no longer fit- I am sure I would get a few comments back with feedback. Hopefully my more supportive blog readers would suggest that I buy bigger boots to accommodate- however I should expect to get some comments suggesting that I cut my long, gorgeous, toenails (and I just grossed myself out a bit).
    Personally I’d take it with a grain of salt and do what made me the happiest!

  16. I love your blog! From WEF to saddles to Simon, it’s the kind of blog that has me checking back in every day. You do a great job with it. I can identify with a lot and basically love everything you post! Don’t change. The haters need to learn how to scroll by 🙂

    This isn’t exactly what you asked. And I apologize… But I really feel like we’ve been in much of the same place and damn but it’s hard.

    As a formerly heavy rider in the stages of becoming less heavy, I’ve shared your struggles. I’ve had people suggest that if I were less fat I would ride better. It hurts. No matter how secure you are, you’ll always wonder. And as an insecure person? Forget it. But I struggled on as someone less than stick thin. In the back of my mind, every single day, I wondered if I was hurting my horse, if I would jump higher and be more confident without the weight. And I beat myself up about these things nearly every waking hour. Not fun.

    I finally decided I was tired of jumping 3ft jumpers and being scared of it and that my training program was going nowhere. I decided that I would move to a new trainer, one who had a lot of experience with big big stuff, and see if I couldn’t rekindle some of the incredible passion I had lost. Turns out, it was still in there, and I decided to make a serious go at it. This involved working out (which I HATE) and losing weight… But the only reason I’m doing it is for ME, because I want nothing more than to ride really, really well. Nobody at my new barn has ever said a word about my weight until recently, when I hit the 25lb lost mark, and I got comments of how my butt fit in the saddle better and I wasn’t moving so much. Which actually made me angry and a little bitter because they didn’t see the hours of no stirrups, the sweat and swearing from the workouts, etc. It was just oh, she’s less fat. That’s nice. (I guess I just can’t win with myself!) But realistically it shouldn’t matter, since all the work HAS improved my riding, tremendously. After six months we’re now consistently schooling 4ft, and showing 1.10m, which is a bigger personal victory than I could ever describe. Now whether that has more to do with the fact that I’m physically 10 times stronger than before or the weight, I’m not sure. But at least I don’t worry so much about being too big for my wonderful horse. It’s a serious mental load off.

    I don’t mean to share this condescendingly or anything. Actually it was really hard to type up and I still might delete it… I guess I’m just trying to say, if it’s a constant worry for you, it is so emotionally draining. You shouldn’t do anything that’s for anyone else. I have no idea if you’re “too big” for Simon – but I guess, if YOU feel like you are, that’s really all that should matter.

    I blog myself and wouldn’t share these things because I’m terrified of what people I know would think or say. So you are seriously brave and for that, a lot of props. I definitely don’t have your balls! Unfortunately the internet seems to think that whatever you post online is fair game… So I guess if you post, particularly since you’re your own thing without stuff like moderators etc. you need to be okay with knowing you may get unsolicited and, at times, feedback that will probably make you feel shitty. The internet is a place of anonymity, which swings both ways in being good and bad. I don’t really comment on much of anything, it’s just not my style. But this post called for it 🙂

    I’m so sorry about what’s going on with Simon. Big hugs and positive energy!

    1. This is a really excellent personal story that I REALLY appreciate you sharing. It sums up how I feel right now a lot more than I think I could sum it up myself. You have balls too 😉

      I think that at the end of the day, you’re absolutely right. It’s what I personally think/feel that’s emotionally draining on me. At the end of the day, it’s up to me to fix that or myself (and I’m trying). Feel like I have a lot more to say but am personally kind of scrambled at the moment, so I’ll start with just that. Thanks for your comment <3

  17. I have long admired your blog because of the things you put out there. You post pictures of yourself riding Simon, even when you know some people may find something to criticize: your equitation, your weight, your shirt, your saddle pad, whatever. This will sound super cheesy, but I find it a little inspirational.

    I often struggle with what to post. Fortunately (I guess?) I rarely have pictures taken of me riding, because there’s no one around to take them. When I do have them, I think long and hard before posting them because I know my equitation leaves much to be desired, I know I need to lose weight, and I know both of my horses are a little underweight. I always prepare myself to hear nasty stuff about how I’m fat, or how I duck terribly, or how I’m clearly not feeding my horses enough. But I rarely hear negative feedback on these topics, which is pleasantly surprising, as most of the internet is a mean place.

    I enjoy your realness, so to speak: you don’t try to paint a perfect picture of your life with Simon and the topics you discuss on your blog are unerringly interesting and always enjoyable.

    In the spirit of keeping it real, I am currently sitting on my sofa eating tortilla chips. I can just replace real dinner with those, right?

    1. I enjoy your realness, so to speak: you don’t try to paint a perfect picture of your life with Simon and the topics you discuss on your blog are unerringly interesting and always enjoyable.

      ^This exactly!

  18. Oooooh, good topic.

    I’m very particular about what I put online. I spent the better part of the past few years working in a semi-pro equestrian situation and I was militant about always only ever blogging about myself, my horse, and very occasionally my rides. I don’t talk about other people , diss on barns or instructors, or refer to people by name without their explicit permission.

    And that’s just the obvious stuff.

    When I was dealing with Cuna’s issues last year, I was very guarded in what I said about him because while I really needed my fellow horse bloggers’ support, I wasn’t emotionally able to handle the constant helpful suggestions. I know everyone means the best, but sometimes your whole life feels like it’s falling apart and you just have to block things out.

    It’s a hard line to run–I absolutely believe in being honest about the ups and downs of life as a working adult ammy, but I have to protect my sanity. I think you do a great job. I’m really liking the recent expansion into non-horse topics as well. You’re a good writer and I feel like it helps me to get to know you a little bit.

  19. You are really mature in this post. No matter what you or anyone posts on the internet, there will always be people judging. It’s just human nature. You don’t do anything that is abusive and you obviously love Simon – don’t be ashamed of sharing your journey with him. What’s important is that you are happy with yourself.

  20. I have recently been thinking hard about this subject. With Estella possibly having EPM, I am on the border of wanting to talk about it and not wanting to. I have been wondering what people will say about me or her, what kind of impressions that will leave, and what will happen if things don’t get better. I have decided to share because I think of my blog as a journal and it feels great to get it out. Not to mention I hope that it helps other people in the same position as me. If she does improve, I hope it encourages people to be more aware of their own horse when questioning EPM. In the end, I blog for my own benefit and those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind ;).

  21. After reading through the comments I have a hard time imagining that I could really add anything helpful. I know that I do censor myself to some extent on my blog for these exact reasons. Even comments that are said with the best of intentions can be hurtful so I try to do as much as I can to avoid my “sensitive buttons.” For instance I have yet to find video of me riding that I’m willing to share although I keep hoping someday I’ll be able to watch video of myself riding and not immediately want to go crawl under a rock! I’m critical of myself enough without adding even more critics! Not that I don’t share some of my issues or try to make it sound like I have it all together.

    That said I really do enjoy your blog very much and admire your honesty. Best wishes to you and Simone.

  22. Sticking to the topic – what do I put on internet? Well, you got me thinking.
    First off, my blog is a little different to most of the other horse blogs out there, because I’ve got the whole ‘expat living in Provence’ thing going on. I have two sets of readers; those who like to read about the hiking and the pretty scenery and the lavender and the markets… and those who like to read all about my horses. I suppose because I try not to bore the non-horsey readers too much, I haven’t really being writing about the horses in any great depth recently. I’m trying to keep it readable and understandable. That said, I’m working on a huge Contemplating my Navel post at the mo… it’s going to come with a warning for the non-horsey readers!
    Do I censor my life in general? Hell, yeah. My personal stuff stays off the blog. For example, I’ve got some health issues going on. Well, until they start to effect my life with my horses, they’re staying OFF the internet.
    Do I try to make out that my horses are pink fluffy Barbie horses? I certainly hope not. Hey, I discuss sheath cleaning, I post boring pictures of hooves, I wrote in excruciating detail about Flurry’s colic and about our Runaway Incident (writing those two was definitely therapeutic for me!). I was honest about Aero’s issues when we arrived here and I was honest about how long it took him to turn back into the horse he used to be (6 months, FYI).
    Do I moan and gripe about things I can’t change? Nope. This was a conscious decision. I’m not going to whinge about the fact that our arena surface is crap, or complain about the way the horses are managed (there are several things I would do differently if I was looking after them at home). Nor am I going to whine about French bureaucracy. Unless I really need to get it off my chest!
    Do I write about my goals, ambitions, dreams? No. Because my goal right now is to accept my horses for what they are. Yes, Flurry is a sweet but unathletic little cob. Yes, he’s a cheeky bugger at times. No, I wouldn’t trust him with my life, but I’m never afraid of him, either! Yes, Aero is far more horse than I need, but right now he’s happy and interested in the work I’m doing with him. Maybe I’ll ride a dressage test on him some day; maybe I won’t. I’m accepting what life puts my way. If you’d asked me six weeks ago if I was aiming to go to the French National Championships, I’d have laughed at you, but in two weeks time, I’ll be up in Normandy with Flurry, competing in the Equifeel Nationals (URP!!! Two weeks!!!)
    Thanks for prompting me to do this self-analysis. As for your blog and what you post –
    I think you’re incredibly honest about what you put ‘out there.’ We get to see your life with Simon, warts and all. Of course you’re worried about Simon right now. I would be too. And I think no matter what weight you are, you’d still be worrying that you had somehow caused his injury (well I would be) by not warming up properly or over-working or over-jumping or working on hard ground or working on soft ground or buying the wrong saddle or using the wrong farrier or just by not being a good enough rider…
    We’ll always find something to beat ourselves up with. Don’t let what other folk say get to you – listen to your own gut instinct.
    My fingers are crossed for you & Simon. I have another Bloggosphere friend going through much the same at the moment, spare a thought for her too.

  23. I’ve learned I’m thinskinned at times, but trying to get over it. It is hard to put info or pictures out BC you are opening yourself up. However, I know I’m trying to grow. I think you have a nice blend of self critique and whogivesadamn. 🙂

  24. I don’t censor much….I try not to come across as cocky or full of myself because soemtimes I feel that being positive might come off that way? I also don’t post every bump or bruise…because I know a lot of local horse people read my blog and I just don’t need them knowing every little thing that happens inside my barn.

    Try not to let the posts get to you…your blog is great and you are a great horsewoman!

  25. I really like this topic+reading all of the comments.
    I used to keep certain photos off of my blog and etc just because of the constructive criticism, not that I didn’t appreciate people trying to help but it got tiring at a point, so I basically just turned on the comment moderation, kept the comments that were nice and trashed the ones that were rude (I mean the actual rude ones like, “Ew, you are horrible, you don’t deserve to own a horse with that EQ.” which actually happened. Kthnx.) and I stopped caring after awhile. I’m a beginner and my horse and I are nowhere near perfect, I created a blog to learn more, not to hide. 🙂 But I think I’m really brazen and used to getting lots of comments because of my other blog in which people hate me for sometimes (whoops!) haha! At least, that’s what everyone else tells me soooo.
    If it’s any consolation, I love your blog and you and Simon – you two were the main reason that I decided to make a horse blog and I think you handle the crit extremely well even when you don’t ask for it or when someone is rude about things. 🙂

  26. I censor out most not horse related stuff, except where it directly affects my riding. I try to be as honest as I can though, and I appreciate that you do the same in your blog.
    I hope you’re feeling more positive soon. I’ve honestly never looked at your pics and videos and seen anything other than a nice, capable rider with a happy horse. Guessing since you’re in a stressful spot with Simon at the moment you’re maybe looking for something to beat yourself up over? My previous horse had a suspensory injury and I went through much of what you are. Please just wait and see what the final diagnosis is and have a good chat with your vet before you jump to any conclusions about anything. Fingers still crossed for a positive outcome for Simon 🙂

  27. I think you’re great, Simon’s great, and this blog is great. Keep on keepin’ on.

    In your shoes, I’d be telling people offering weight loss advice where to shove it. But you might be nicer than me. This seems to be something people think they can freely discuss and offer unsolicited advice on.

    Anyway, rock on with yer bad self. I’ll be here reading.

  28. I think at the end of the day, people are going to think, say and do what they want. I’ve learned (and am still learning) that nothing is more important than the view of myself. People can tell me all day long that I’m a great rider, I’m a great fit for my horse, and we work well together and I will NEVER believe it until I “self-realize” it if that makes sense.

    I think a lot of the time we take mean comments from others as validation for the negative things we think about ourselves. Don’t. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because they don’t own, ride or see Simon every day. I’ve read your blog for a long time (over a year) and I’ve never seen you doing anything not in his best interest, just throwing that out there as my personal opinion.

    I think the only thing you can do is pull your chin up and realize that you’re in this for you and Simon and no one else matters. Be his advocate, make the changes you need to make (and I’m sure you’re already doing so!) to feel good about yourself and your riding and at the end of the day you can hang your hat on that!

    Best of luck at the vet appointment tomorrow. Will be thinking of you and Simon and sending sound pony jingles your way! ((Also- if you find out it’s stifles, bring up estrone to your vet as a potential option. It’s not invasive and although it’s a little “out there” if your vet is willing to try, it’s a great first step! It was a miracle cure for Emma’s wonky stifles and stopped that “dropped/catching” behavior entirely. Super cheap at about $60 a bottle which will last you 5-6 weeks at 5ccs My horse is now weaned off of it after about six months and on zero maintenance! ))

  29. I think most people over share on the Internet. I try not to, im sure i fail from time to time but i strive to not to. That doesn’t mean that i don’t want to be honest in blogging about my horses. I try to be honest but also try to keep my blog posts positive as best as i can. No one wants to read a debbie downer blog all the time. I’m aware i have readers even if my blog is really only for me. So i try to keep out a lot of stuff that isnt horse related. Its a balancing act and sometimes you’re just off balance and sometimes people are just jerks online because they can be.

    As to the weight question. There is a school of thought that anyone over 120 lbs shouldnt be on a horse. No matter how tall you are and what your bone structure is…. just ask George Morris. Bah! Most people don’t even know what 120 looks like on women, let alone 140 or 160. You are a balanced rider and you would be a balanced rider heavier then you are now and you would be a balanced rider lighter then you are now. I wouldn’t have the balls to email someone and tell them i thought they were too fat to ride their horse even if they did ask for thoughts. Why? because its the damn Internet and even though i am invested in what people are writing and *feel* like i know them… I DON’T REALLY KNOW THEM. So to break the 4th wall as it were and hoist my negative opinion on something so personal as a womens weight would be in my book rude. If a personal friend took me aside and asked me my thoughts on their weight and riding their horse i might give it to them i might not but if i did I would be very careful how i choose my words because its a very sensitive subject and too much pressure is already put on our girls to be thin, as if thats the only thing they have of value to contribute to the world. Again i say Bah!

    Your blog is a good one, you’re a balanced blogger just as you are a balanced rider.

  30. I really like the point this post brings up. I always wonder what people think of what I write on my blog: if it’s interesting to other people, if it sometimes reflects poorly on me (as either a horse person or just a person in general), etc. The conclusion I’ve come to after writing for a few years is this: I started my blog for myself. I started it originally to have something to look back on as I went through college – a scrapbook of sorts, one that other people could look at, too. But ultimately, it’s for me. If someone doesn’t agree with something I say, I’m happy to hear their opinion and listen to their advice. I appreciate that.

    Since I bought Orion and started posting about him, it’s become more than just about me. It’s also about him and his life, and I love looking back at the first posts after I bought him 3 years ago and seeing the changes that we’ve both gone through since then. I get a lot of feedback about the issues I sometimes have with him, and I love that my blog can be a platform for that. I also love that maybe it can help other people going through the same things. But as I said before, it’s ultimately MY timeline to look back on, and as such, it’s important to me that I’m completely honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Anything different won’t help me or anyone else in the future, and if it opens me up to criticism, so be it. Maybe that criticism will help me; maybe it won’t. Either way, I just try to take everything that’s said with a grain of salt and remember that I am who I am, and no one can take that away from me but me. Being honest is usually way more important to me than fitting in.

  31. I really appreciate your blog. I’m a heavy rider myself and I have struggled up and down. I’ve been heavier than I am now and much thinner. I get to shows and I’m one of the biggest people there. At the same time I’ve seen a much thinner rider plop down on Bre and watched bre just about roll over like a truck was parked on her back. I’m more balanced and she doesn’t flinch with me. Balance and stretgth has a huge part. I might get myself into some crazy positions on horseback but I’m not slamming on their backs.

    Your blog has inspired me. You went from being nervous over 2″ at shows to jumping big wide scary stuff. You are a badass. You share your fears and your triumphs. Thank you for that. It gives me hope I’ll be able to jump Dickie without peeing my pants someday in the near future.

  32. Ps. Your post didn’t come off as griping or complaining about your weight. You have other posts where you mention about how you’re working on it. Anyone who has really battled weight issues wouldn’t say just to take a walk or get on a bike. It’s a struggle that goes far beyond will power. Current medical research will back that up. It doesn’t seem to me like your weight is the problem based on the vet responses. You’ve had several vets out. Furthermore the fact that you are taking a look at all possible causes of his NQR makes you a wonderful owner. A majority of people wouldn’t even be having the horse looked at. It takes a caring saavy horse woman to call a vet out and spend money just because you know your horse when he’s not even head bobbing lame. Heck I see too many people riding the lame horse.

  33. There is a simple equation to figure out if you are in fact too heavy for your horse. It’s impartial and agreed upon by most riding people as how much a horse can safely and easily carry. I’m not saying you are or aren’t the wrong size for your horse but here it is.
    You should weigh under 20% of your horses body weight. If the horse is 1000lbs, the rider should be under 200lbs.

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