Respect or disrespect? What would you call it?

I am sure that most people who read my blog posts know that I am not trying to present myself as a fabulous rider who knows it all. Far from it.

I recently received a lengthy comment from someone who said they wanted to offer some “constructive criticism”. The comment was a paragraph detailing all the various elements of what was wrong with my position, what was wrong with my application of the aids, and why I was not able to sit the trot. This person’s opinion is that most of my body is in the wrong position or doing the wrong things. Some of the observations were not incorrect. I do have problems sitting the trot gracefully. I have never pretended otherwise.

This person does not know me nor do they know my horse. They did not specify if they are a coach or trainer themselves or what level they ride at.

So let me be clear.

1. I post videos of my lessons with Belinda Trussell not because I think I look so terrific but it is a chance for other riders to have the benefit of Belinda’s coaching tips. She is after all a two time Olympian for Canada. I think also it may be interesting for other riders to see how I am struggling with something and how Belinda helps me.

2. I am turning 71 years old next week and I have had a history of serious health issues and surgeries. I think I am doing my best, all things considered , to be riding and competing at an FEI level.

3. I accept constructive criticism from my coach. This is a person I trust and who knows me and knows my horse.

4. Some of the things mentioned in the comment by the person, who is unknown to me, were fairly insulting and would have been insulting to any rider. That may not have been the intention. But considering what was said it is hard to think otherwise.

I have always appreciated the comments from all the WordPress Bloggers who follow my blog. I have always found their comments to be full of respect for me and for my horse. But for critiques of my riding I will stick to listening to my coach.

64 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Tulin says:

    Bravo, Anne. You certainly are doing your best!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Mark Tulin says:

        You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your blog as you know Anne. “It’s important to contemplate the mysteries of life, but don’t let it make you unhappy. If it’s making you unhappy, you are probably over-thinking it. Let it go for a while and focus on what you already know and understand.” (Dan Pedersen).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutley! I put up the post and that rid me of my annoyance. It is all over now. Ans the great thing about a horse is that they do hold on to negative feelings. So when I am around my horse i am happy too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your coach’s opinion is the only one that matters, only second to Biasini’s that is. I love following your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you I appreciate your supportive comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your journey is appreciated.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Alli Farkas says:

    Wow!!! First lesson, whether in person or on social media: DO NOT COACH anyone who has not asked you to!!! End of story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes you got it Alli! Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  5. kunstkitchen says:

    Anne, anyone who reads your blog knows how dedicated you are to your sport. You are a great example for me to stay in shape and keep going.
    I was inspired to take riding lessons at the age of fifty nine, when I watched an English woman of about 83 years of age riding with her granddaughters.
    I loved every minute of the lessons. Learning to ride taught me confidence and connected me to horse culture. Never mind the detractor. Your blog inspires me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I appreciate your very supportive comment.💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Tina Schell says:

    I was once berated by a fellow blogger for my post about some of the working people in southeast asia. His primary issue was “how did I dare to talk about them when I was not one of them” and he went on and on. I suppose as bloggers, most all of us have encountered negativity disguised as constructive criticism. I’ll admit it truly bothered me until I was reassured by others that it happens, ignore it and move on. It’s their issue not mine. So that is my advice to you Anne. Your blog is wonderful and I love your stories and examples of your progress. Don’t give the commenter any more thought than the one second it took you to delete the message and for heaven’s sake, keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Tina. This commenter is not a blogger. She came to my blog via a European website that sometimes reblog my posts. I had a dressage judge who is an Olympic level judge comment to me on Facebook that these people are “keyboard riders” and should be ignored . I like the idea of keyboard riders😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tina Schell says:

        Me too! Interesting that it was an outsider tho. THX Anne

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your thoughts and optimism have always been inspiring to me. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh I will. It will take more then a keyboard rider to keep me down!😁

      Liked by 1 person

  8. David says:

    Someone had asked how come I don’t post videos my daughters’ practicing or at a show. The practice videos are their work product, how they prepare for a show, etc. A lot of the back-and-forth conversations overheard on the underlying audiotrack are for themselves only. Yes, they give each other a hard time, but the aim is to improve each other and push each other to become better riders. They tightly guard show video more. The same standard applies to still photography, and are probably more restrictive than video. They would tell you they are far from being a perfect rider. To out-work a fellow competitor, you bet, because they are trying to out-work you. Trish, their coach, sees this as their part of attention to detail.

    Sorry you had that kind of experience. Very disrespectful. Critiques, that’s best left to your coach, instructor, or mentor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree. I had a comment on Facebook from a 5* judge I have done a clinic with. She said that the people who make these comments are “keyboard riders” and should be ignored. I don’t mind sharing my lesson videos as a lot of people like to see them and enjoy hearing Belinda’s teaching. And why not she’s ridden in 2 Olympics and 4 World Games. I dont put myself up as a fabulous rider but I dont need to be getting criticism that is very negative and from someone who doesn’t not know me or my horse. Thanks for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Maa you are writing mostly about horses and riding lessons, I am not related to horse riding since I follow this blog and read every post with full of interest as I love horses and I can learn something from here related to life above all I learn lot from you as in this age you are opening up much. With this post I learned in spite of age, country, education everywhere there are people who behave like this. Thank you so much for this valuable lesson I never forget for my life. And share with my children too.

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Subbashini. I’m glad you find something in my posts and I love the idea that you share it with your children.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Robyn says:

    No one has the right to critique you except for your coach. That commenter was being rude and I am sorry you had to deal with such a person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robyn. I appreciate your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Emma Cownie says:

    Oh my word. I can’t believe someone did that! I once had a very rude collector offer me “constructive criticism” on a painting they decided to return. They had ever right to change their mind about the purchase (largely because the husband didn’t like it) but her “helpful comments” (or rather his comments) dented my confidence for some time. In fact, now I think about, they may have partially contributed to me not doing woodland paintings anymore. You are always very upfront about things you find challenging, what you have to work at which why your successes are all the sweeter and we enjoy them too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Good grief! I am shocked that your work was criticized. And I’ll bet the person doing the criticism was an armchair painter. Probably never even painted a wall never mind creating art! In sorry it dented your confidence but I can understand it. I am struggling a bit with the idea of putting up any more videos of me riding. But I have a lesson tomorrow and Belinda will get me over that. And btw I love your paintings.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Emma Cownie says:

        Thank you, Leueen. Yes, I am pretty sure they were just spouting their husbands words. Never mind, each to their own, as they say. Dont let that one person put you off! They were just a drive-by critic. They hadn’t invested time and getting to know what you and your blog was about. They had not built a relationship. (Funny, I used to say that to teeangers who’d try it on the first time I taught them.) Listen topeople that know you – like Belinda.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Everyone is an expert. 🙄
    You are one of the most selfless, kind, strong, and admirable(!!!) people I have ever met. I am in total awe of your riding abilities, your advocacy for your horse, AND your commitment to riding/training, as well as your courage to chronicle your journey and share your trials and triumphs with the world!
    I am very grateful to know you. ❤
    The internet provides a platform for the weak, ineffective and incompetent people to (try to) tear down others who have achieved more than they ever will.
    They are lazy, and would rather “level the playing field” (in their small minds) by picking at what YOU have achieved instead of doing the work to achieve it for themselves.
    I could say, “ignore it; you know it isn’t true, blah, blah, blah”. But that excuses it.
    So, I will say that I condemn it.
    Whoever it is, whatever they said, they are flatly WRONG. You do NOT have to give them one ounce of rope by acknowledging that you are not perfect. And you CERTAINLY do not have to explain yourself to that offensive person, or to anyone else.
    It is ALWAYS wrong to offer unsolicited advice, and it takes a special kind of ignorance to try to make yourself look important by trying to tear someone else down.
    You are my inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Mary! I like the idea of “condemning” the negativity. YES!

      Like

  13. Ah, yes, I have also received online comments that were not flattering. I try to see the writer’s perspective, read in between the lines. I try to see if there is something I can learn from the comments, either directly in the comments themselves or indirectly through my own emotional/intellectual reaction to them. And then I try to get back out there and keep moving forward it my own horsemanship journey. Not sure what else to do other than that! And between you and me, you shouldn’t be receiving any negative comments from me on your riding. I can’t even see the FEI level from where and how I sit in the saddle! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks for this comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. aghisla says:

    I join the supportive comments and tell that it happens a lot to musicians too: everyone in the audience will spot a wrong note or a weird-sounding passage, but very few can suggest how to do better. Listening to your coach and to trusted sources sounds the best way to get actual constructive comments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree
      Thank you for commenting.

      Like

  15. cagedunn says:

    I love seeing what you do. For many years, I tutored newer riders into the use of aids (including working cowboys/stockmen) and basic dressage, and now that I’m a sofa-rider, I love watching/seeing what others do.
    I’m there with you, bumpy bits and all. And I’m quite happy to admit I wasn’t all that good, just passionate. Some of my students went on to be better than me in only a few years. I’m very happy for them, and more happy to see their passion for the sport/art of dressage.
    Thank you for sharing the joys of this life with me and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for your kind comment. It’s much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You always have my admiration and respect.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. sandyjwhite says:

    As all of us in our Golden years well know, constructive critiquing is invaluable as a part of our growth throughout life. But, as you point out, it must come from someone with whom you have a relationship and mutual trust. You are a wonderful model for other riders, Anne. Keep on keeping on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Sandy. I must add that the tone of this comment was negative.The person is unknown to me , is not a fellow blogger and I have deleted the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        Yes, I’d delete, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh good grief. There certainly seems to be an epidemic of know-it-alls, too, doesn’t there. I think you’re doing a fine job here explaining what these riding competitions are all about, in an interesting manner, and also conveying a great attitude of perseverance and positivity. We should all keep trying to learn and do our personal best, and you should certainly rest easy that your readers feel a good deal of respect for your riding project.
    I keep trying to learn how to cook a few things, for example, and not just exist on mac & cheese or frozen microwave stuff. I don’t expect any Michelin stars quite yet, but sometimes I surprise myself, and other people, with a Chinese dinner, or something I thought up myself. I’m very reliable on toast, too. 🙂
    Please ignore the wisenheimer.
    Biasini certainly seems to have a curious look in that shot, I wonder if horses can hear electronic noises from the camera or phone.

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment Robert. Do keep on with the cooking. Our son has turned into a very good cook and he experiments a lot with good results and he loves, pre Covid, to go out to the fish and meat and vegetable markets in London and shop for things. So you carry on! Biasini will be noticing the phone and is giving it a look. I just thought it was a bit of a “hariy eyeball” look and suited this post.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Cyranny says:

    Nevermind the anonymous toxic comments, dear Anne. True constuctive feedback is great, but if you feel that people are speaking not knowing your situation, they shouldn’t bother you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. dprastka says:

    Awe, something I’ve been worried about by putting myself out there too!! I am lucky and haven’t received this “constructive criticism” holy smokes! Totally inappropriate and/or disrespectful as you are not at all asking for ones opinions by sharing your wonderful videos with your excellent coach! You are my inspiration, as I’m turning 60 and you are in far better riding shape than I and I’ve never ridden in FEI shows. You always share what you are working on which may help someone, so kind and Impressive and most EXCELLENT! I agree with Shelagh, you rock!! ❤️🐴

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Frances McDonnell says:

    Just another busybody know-it-all with a poor sense of what’s appropriate and what’s just plain unacceptable. On a par with the uninvited “suggestions” people with illnesses and ailments receive all the time (I’m sure you’ve had plenty of these too!). Your response is spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Frances. I appreciate the support.

      Like

  22. This is very disappointing and something I have also experienced because we dare to put ourselves out there in the public space.

    My blog name is literally “in progress” and yet sharing my journey seems to have made people feel compelled to comment, judge and evaluate me, my horse and my training.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well I think there are a lot of sofa riders out there who think they have all the answers! I always enjoy your posts and your “progress”.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Shelagh Northey says:

    Thank you for your wonderfully generous-spirited blog, your optimism and candour. Keep it up, sister. You rock!!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Paula Light says:

    People are bizarre. Who needs critique from some anon source we don’t know and have no idea what their intentions are? I’d block them! Love the pic of your beautiful horse ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I chose that photo because he is giving a bit of a “hairy eyeball” to the viewer and I thought that was appropriate.🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Judy says:

    If my mother weren’t dead, I’d say it sounded like her. She felt it her responsibility to make everyone better. She was right sometimes; she was also brutal. It isn’t you. It isn’t your riding. Consider the source: As you said, they don’t know you or your horse. You already knew much of what they said, so it wasn’t even helpful. Unsolicited “constructive criticism” is simply criticism. Best thing to do? Roll your eyes; laugh; delete; keep enjoying your passion; and please keep posting your videos. I thoroughly enjoy them. I’m living vicariously through you. 🙂 Because of my back problem, my physical therapist told me I could never ride again. I’m in awe of what you’re accomplishing. Go you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Judy says:

      BTW, if you don’t want to post my comment, I understand, or edit as you see fit. Unfortunately, I can also be brutal sometimes. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. anne leueen says:

        I could tell you about my mother Judy and it would not be so nice either. So we ahve something in common.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Judy says:

          Sorry about that. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  26. I had a person write disrespectful comments. I ignored them and they stopped.

    So sorry it happened to you.

    Not worth your time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Susie. You are always to up beat and positive I cannot imagine anyone being critical and disrespectful I susect they may have been jealous.

      Like

      1. Totally said I was wrong in my action, but in depth. I am 72, and they are not upsetting me. Just ignore it.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I believe there is spoken and unspoken understanding between a coach and student! They both have faith in each other and that’s how it works. People do talk, we too listen and move on…… that’s it…

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.