Negativity? I’d like to call it what it is…..ABUSE. It is not even verbal abuse because these abusers do not have the guts to speak out loud but hide behind their phone or computer screens. In the case of professional riders who have been subjected to this abuse I think it is unconscionable. It is my sincere hope that those of us who are in the rational and real world, will recognize this abuse for what it is, and continue to appreciate the riding and horsemanship of those we look up to and respect.
Last week I encountered an onslaught of negativity. First, a friend and professional rider, for whom I have great respect, received an excessively negative comment on Facebook, on an interview article that told of this rider’s journey through difficult times. The article was inspirational but the person commenting was both insulting and denigrating.
Second, I commented on a post by a fellow blogger who had put up a good post about how difficult it is to ride a horse straight. I commented that I liked the post and thought she had done a good job with topic. The blogger replied that mine was the only positive comment received and all other comments had been very negative so my comment was much appreciated.
Third, I received a vitriolic comment on my personal Facebook page about a link to a post on my blog Horse Addict. This comment insulted my training, my riding and finally stated that my horse’s training was a product of inhumane treatment. My response was to unfriend the person and remove the post from my personal page. I also posted that I would no longer post links to my blog on my personal page. I posted on my Horse Addict Leueen page on Facebook , which is a page I manage, that I would not tolerate negativity and that anyone posting excessively negative comments would be banned and their comments removed. I said I appreciated comments but that Negative Nellies and Nelsons should go elsewhere.
This was almost a “Three Strikes You’re Out” week for me with Facebook. But I know that there are many people, fellow horse people, who come to my blog through Facebook, especially for my coverage of the competitions in the Florida winter season, the clinics I attend with some of the top riders and trainers, and the coverage of events such as the World Equestrian Games. People who are not able to attend these events in person seem to appreciate my blog posts. I know there are many other excellent websites that offer coverage, scores and appraisal of rides. But I think that some people seem to enjoy my posts as I usually just give information about the atmosphere, the rides without any critiquing, and quotes from the clinicians. For my blog post on the Carl Hester Masterclass last winter there were more than 12,000 views in the first month and the majority of those came from and continue to come from Facebook. If I was to depart from Facebook entirely I would loose those readers. I will continue and see how it goes.
I have never had negativity from my followers at WordPress. This group of horsey and non-horsey people are always positive and supportive and I thank you all for that!
I want to state, for the record, that my two coaches, Belinda Trussell and Luis Denizard are both equestrians who put the welfare of the horse first and foremost. And they would not teach anyone who did not share that priority of horse first, rider second.
I always, without fail, do the best for my horse, and always consider his well being before my own goals or ambitions.
I am at a loss to understand why there are people who are so bitter and twisted that they spew out abusive comments on social media. What is lacking in their lives that they seek pleasure in doing this? Are they so frustrated that they seek to bring down those who have achieved some level of success?
For this post I am not showing any photos of horses. Instead I offer you a photo of a male American Goldfinch. He is waiting on the star magnolia for a turn at the gold finch feeder in our garden.
As a fellow blogger Avery at AHA Moments always says: “Walk in love, Dear Readers!” Let us do that. Let us walk in love.