It would seem commentaries are all the rage right now. Since Callie asked in the comments here about someone else's comment towards me on a forum, I thought I'd explain what happened.
Most of you have read MiKael's blog post about the uneducated blogger who felt it her duty to show her superior knowledge (or lack of) by putting down just about every discipline she could think of other than Western Pleasure. It took me a while, but I realized that I'm on a forum with her, and I got a real chuckle out of it when I realized who it was.
A few months ago a woman who rides a little mustang asked the show crowd if there were any venues where her nieces might ride in a more 'natural' way. She's got her gelding going in a bitless bridle and doesn't want him to ever have a bit in his mouth. Now, I'm one to say that a tool is only as harsh as the hands that are using it, and that includes any bit out there. But she's bought into the 'bits are cruel' and that's her right. If her horse is stopping and turning for her when she wants him to, and is a safe mount, then I see no problem.
Rather than be nice, the show crowd began to harass her, telling her she had her head in the sand, that she wasn't above the rules and maybe she ought to learn to follow them, and that she was close minded. Me, I just had to step in and defend the poor little thing. So I asked them if they knew why certain bits were used, while others weren't. And they began to harp on how a horse travels better and collects and bends and all sorts of reasons why some work better.
That, however, wasn't the question. Because the horse works better in it is a good reason to use it, but that doesn't explain why the others are disallowed. If a horse doesn't work well, it won't place, and the person riding will either stop or get a new bit so they can improve.
And because we were talking her nieces, 4-H should have been a great place for them to learn this. However, 4-H has the same bit rules. Me, I'm thinking (or typing out loud) that this rule should be changed. There's no reason, if the horse is under control, that the girls shouldn't be allowed to show. I've seen a lot of out of control horses wearing the 'right' bit that ought to have been sent home. So aside from tradition (the Mexican cowboys started their horses either in hackamores or snaffles, then graduated to ported bits), there really was no reason for the rule in 4-H.
I may have referred to them as circle trotters, too. Yes, I did do that. And that sent them off into a frenzy. Obviously, I didn't know what I was talking about. After all, it was a bosal, not a hackamore, and pleasure is more than just trotting in circles. Obviously, the Desperate Horsewife hasn't a clue what she's talking about because, as we all know, she just rides mustangs. And I was referred to as Einstein by our sweet little blogger girlfriend.
Oh, but how wrong they were! And this is what I love the most, being able to then flash my credentials across the screen and see them turning red (well, I imagine they are on the other side of their computer screens, anyway) in embarrassment as they realize that yes, I do know how hard it is to win at Western Pleasure, and yes, it is called a hackamore, and yes, I was once a circle trotter, too, and they've just proved my point about circle trotter mentality. And suddenly they're apologizing because they didn't know I'd shown upper levels, and yes, maybe in 4-H it would be okay...
And what really bugged me is it wasn't just the little princess we all know and love, but people who call themselves professionals who were harassing the poor woman. Now I ask you, would you want to train with someone who treated those not in the 'know' like they were dirt? I know I wouldn't.
Perhaps I should change my name around here to the Desperate Einstein, eh? Unfortunately, the circle trotters scared off the trail rider with their superior knowledge on the subject and she's licking her wounds back on the trails where her little mustang, I'm sure, is happy as can be.
Sponsor me in the Mustang Makeover!
Join the Hay Burner's Club and donate $15 towards Sandy's upkeep and I'll send you a 5x7 photo (once the horse is here, of course.) Or buy advertising space in the form of a button.