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Expectations when posting riding videos publicly?

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  • Expectations when posting riding videos publicly?

    I did a search of old threads, and there have been extensive discussions about online bullying and certain websites, etc. But had a recent situation come up that I didn't really see specifically addressed.

    If you post video of you and your horse in a FB group or other public online forum, do you caveat that you don't want any negative comments? If not, how do you handle negative commentary - both how you respond publicly and how you feel about the comments?

    Here are my thoughts - I videotape often since I have horses at home and often go longer than I'd like between lessons. As I look at the video, I decide what I need to do better, and I'll often send the snippets -the good, the bad and the ugly - to personal friends I trust for advice. I am not opposed to posting videos publicly, but if I know the video is gross, then I would address that in the comments, and maybe even ask for advice as many of us have less than perfect moments.

    I haven't found a group on FB I feel I'd post bad videos in, so the ones I'd post would be ones that I think showcase our best moments. If I think the video is great, and someone rips it apart, I might research that person to determine the value of their opinion and if they aren't someone I respect as a horseperson, I'd likely not respond to the criticism at all. However, if I posted something I thought was great, and someone like Carl Hester told me it sucked and I was doing everything wrong, then I'd hopefully take that to heart and seek to improve!

    So if someone proudly posts a video in a public forum, and it's terrible - do you comment? Assuming they don't caveat up front with the "nothing negative" thing. And if you do, how do you approach it? Private message, polite public comment, public berating for the animal abuse in the video? I mean, there's a range: if it's truly abusive, I have zero qualms about public shaming. But if it's just wrong riding, and maybe they don't know - maybe a PM or polite questioning approach, about where the horse is/what they are working on, etc.

    I think if someone posts a video publicly that they think is awesome, and majority agrees it's NOT awesome, then it's fair game to comment, ideally without being nasty and in a way the person might be open to hearing.

    Just curious about thoughts/experiences.

  • #2
    I don't think you can hold any expectations when posting video publicly and online. No matter what you think, there is always going to be someone with negative, blunt, or even rude comments. Some of the top riders in the world are often the subject of negative critique. FB groups can be some of the worst unless you are posting to a small, private group with guidelines set for critique.

    I used to share some of my videos online to get feedback and help with my riding as I am a fairly novice rider. No more. Now I only share with a select few who I KNOW can give me good, honest feedback with the intention to help me improve and have the experience and knowledge to back it up. I've seen to many "look at this idiot" posts in the "other" types of groups and since it is not beneficial to anyone except their form of "entertainment", it's something I'd rather avoid.
    "Horses are too spency!" - Mom


    • #3
      The whole trouble with this is that one persons negative comments, is another’s helpful critique.

      Lol, I guess it’s like expecting to ride a dressage test and note to the judge “no negative comments” sometimes as hard as you try, there maybe many positive comments, but some negative. It’s up to the rider how they deal with it.
      "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

      "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


      • #4
        What Smthn_Like_Olivia said... I haven't ever posted videos in any groups because of the downright nasty comments arm chair riders/trainers love to post. Some people can shake that kind of meanness off, but I wouldn't be able to.

        "Negative" comments can be helpful, but most of the ones I see are not intended to help the rider improve but instead are intended to tear down the other person. There is no realistic way to avoid this when you provide videos to the general public.


        • #5
          Well, honestly, I would not post video in any public forum looking for comments and feedback because I have a coach that I totally trust in this regard. I don't feel that I need to crowd-source riding instruction. Also at this stage, I can look at video of my ride and see where it went wrong, and also where I thought I was OK but I was doing the exact wrong thing my coach always calls me out on . If the video, the judge's comments, and your coach all say the same thing, there's no need to ask random strangers .

          I do post video very occasionally on my FB feed, but my FB friends are pretty much entirely actual friends and the video would be more "look at this fun thing we did!," not "critique my riding."

          On the other hand, I will respond to "critique my riding" videos especially on COTH, because I find it useful for developing my own eye to say my opinion and then see if other folks see the same thing, or something different. I also find lameness videos and hoof problem photos on COTH interesting in that regard, because I know who the members with really good eyes for this are, and I can mull over their responses and often learn something.

          I guess posting riding videos would be useful if you were working without access to instruction, or with substandard instruction, or if you had reason to deeply doubt your coach's instruction. But even then, the rider might be better served by finding an online coaching service and getting expert advice from one person.

          I am not sure what the caveat "no negative commentary" can possibly mean in this context. Is saying "nice willing horse but your hands are bouncy and your leg is all over the place and he is sucked back and under tempo" a "negative comment" ---- basically what your coach would say? Or does a negative comment mean a really toxic and hostile response?

          I think that if you are after warm fuzzies and lots of lovelove emoticons and wow you look great!!, then you should stick to still photos where everything lines up perfectly, or to videos of your horse running in turnout, making faces when you groom him, or photos at the top of very high mountains with a great view. Nobody ever calls out your seat when you post a photo from on top of a mountain or on the beach!

          As far as: if I posted a video I thought was awesome but then someone of high stature saw significant problems? Well, that's a matter of developing your own eye. I have a pretty good idea what Carl Hester would say about my riding, and it's going to be very similar to what my coach says and indeed what I see in my videos. Carl Hester might have some different ideas to fix me, who knows? But I bet he'd say "ride more forward" and "keep your leg under you."


          • #6
            Caveat: I don't post things publicly.

            That said, some distinctions to make. "Negative" is a bad word. "He's behind the bit" is negative - but sometimes necessary to point out. I think an expectation of constructive commentary (criticisms are okay, but keep it helpful) is reasonable. People who jump the shark and go straight into attacks, hyperbole, or plain old nasty/unhelpful are out of line IMO.

            On the other hand once you post it you've lost control of dictating the audience to your media and you can't reasonably expect (in most situations) that your standards of conversation are the same as someone else's - so it's kind of a buyer beware, post at your own risk.


            • #7
              Thinking back, it’s an interesting question in so many ways...

              i was excited to post my trainer riding my new mare to share to share with people. Was not expecting the wave of hostility towards him. It was his first sit, in a Western Saddle, on this very new to all of us mare, on a freezing cold day...had so many people tell me that he is crap.....on that one video. The years of me knowing him, seeing him start babies, turn around problems, meant nothing. Now people are entitled to say what they think, just don’t get pissy if I don’t fall at your feet, you know being as you are a random internet stranger and all that.

              More interesting, having people diagnose her as lame, to the extent I did not know any more if she was lame or sound! She is actually totally sound, she hated being a Western horse, now she is a low hunter, and enjoying her new life totally. The people who saw lame were right to speak up, they had got me so confused that I lost friends by asking on several forums, “do you think she is lame” Both those who thought she was. And wasn’t, thought they were right, and why would I go looking for more opinions. Well because I was never sure, that’s why.

              "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

              "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


              • #8
                If it doesn't say "Please critique," then I don't critique. It's not hard. I understand the urge to want to help someone out, and have succumbed to that urge in the past, but all it's doing is being annoying. Like the western trainer who decided to walk over and take the lunge line out of my hand when lunging my new OTTB for the first time off the track. I did not ask for help, and did not want want help, and won't be teaching my thoroughbred to move out by smacking her on the neck with the lunge whip thank you. If the help isn't requested, don't provide it, in person nor online.
                There is nothing more annoying than posting a video you're proud of, just because you're proud of it and want to celebrate a small success, and people knock it down trying to be "helpful." I have a coach, thanks. This applies to friends and family, too, not just strangers.
                Last edited by mmeqcenter; Jul. 9, 2019, 02:54 PM.
                Custom tack racks!


                • #9
                  Unless the riding is abusive, there's no reason to say anything negative. If someone asks for critique,and you notice their hands are too high, you don't have to say "your hands are too high". All you have to say is "I'd like to see you lower your hands a little." All you need to do is give the person something to try instead of what they are doing not-so-great. People who point out all the negative things are just being jerks. I've had $80 an hour lessons that dis this, these types of pros are never anyone notable.

                  It also drives me crazy when internet responders just "describe the ideal". Your horse should be blah do blah. The connection needs to go from back to front. This is not helpful. All it does is describe the ideal and leave the OP completely on their own to figure out how to get there. All it means is that the internet responder doesnt actually know enough to provide an actual suggestion or series of things to try that might help. They can recite the books but not ride the actual horse.

                  For abusive riding I call it out. Then all of a sudden everyone has an excuse and we are supposed to be understaaaaaannnding. Nope. If you can't ride without being an ass to your horse, regardless of intent, you shouldn't ride. I don't care if that hurts your feelings.

                  On time I posted a blooper reel of my young horse's first show, where he finally felt it was all too much and backed out of the arena. The COTH know it alls went bananas. They suggested I ride more aggressively. Apparently I was supposed to beat him. A lot of people recited that forward is very important. Nobody thought it was 'enough' that he actually made it further around each class. So many experts. (Meanwhile an actual real pro just had a great article in Noelle Floyd about all the reasons it's ok to let your green horse stop at jumps....) I was going to ruin him, it was all terrible, blah di blah di blah.

                  I thought we could all laugh at the baby horse (my actual pro trainer at the time is on the tape laughing his ass off), but apparently not. So I ignored all these experts, did not beat the daddy macshizzle out of my horse about "forward" and continued to train him as before. Eventually got my bronze and, when he became too valuable to keep, sold him to hunterland for more than I paid for my house. Guess I was really screwing that horse up, huh.

                  A lot of the advice I see given on the internet is terrible. While there have been times where collectively people were somewhere on the spectrum from concerned to horrified with good reason, 99% of the time, if you're saying something negative, you're revealing your ignorance. If you don't have a CONSTRUCTIVE SUGGESTION THAT THE OP CAN TRY (that isn't "beat it more"), you should probably stop typing advice until you do. Spouting theory or saying "more leg" as your answer to everything isn't helpful.
                  Last edited by meupatdoes; Jul. 9, 2019, 02:46 PM.
                  The Noodle
                  Boy Wonder
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!


                  • #10
                    Don't post publicly if you aren't willing to accept the good, bad, and wrong that comes with it. And never suggest you are looking for advice.

                    I do post video on my facebook feed, but my facebook friends are by and large actual friends or at least acquaintances. I've never had someone offer advice or opinions on something I posted on my feed - just likes and congrats.


                    • #11
                      I would very rarely say anything unless specifically asked for a critique. There's so much that is unknown with just a video posted, the horse's history (even if it is kind of ugly--is it better than it was? What struggles or successes have the horse and rider had in the past, individually and together? What are their goals? etc. etc. etc.)

                      If I absolutely felt I had to (and it would probably only be if I thought there was a safety or health issue) it would be hedged and try to emphasize something positive--even if it was as simple as the rider releasing or turning or something relatively minor. like "It seems like on this day you guys were struggling with X. I thought you handled that well when you did C. I had a horse who struggled with that and found D and E to also be effective, if that's not something you've already tried. Cute horse, best of luck!"


                      • Original Poster

                        Sounds like most people are in line with my thinking. I've never posted a video in a group seeking input, nor to brag. But if I were to post something, I've asked for the feedback, and it wouldn't ruffle my feathers - I dismiss the nonsense and stay open to what I might learn.

                        But even if you don't post video, if OTHERS do, and what you see is really concerning, do you comment? If you have, what's happened?

                        The situation that prompted this was when I commented, and the person even noted I was "nice" - the person was distraught at the criticism. I know you guys don't know me, but seriously, I was really nice! But the video was HORRIFIC.

                        And she clearly didn't know the video was awful - very beginner-like posture/balance of rider, falling on the horse's back, and waterskiing on reins, and horse spent entire 2-3 minutes with nose on chest. No joke - on the chest. If person thought that was a GOOD video, just, wow. And to make it more concerning, to where I debated but ultimately decided to comment, she said in her post that horse was in a pelham due to recent "behavior" issues but would be back in a snaffle soon.

                        My comment was to say she was doing lots right (that was a lie, but sugar-coating), asked if she took lessons (she looked like she needed to be on a lunge with someone saying up/down, up/down), and to note that horse was very behind the vertical in the video and that may have contributed to the behavior problem. But to keep up the hard work, good luck on the journey, yada, yada. I did not say the mean stuff I said above, but seriously, how could she think that was good?!?!? WEIRD. And poor horse - if, in fact, the behavior is because the ride is SO bad, I know it's not my business, but just sad to think how it will end up. But nope, she just wanted praise. And no, I'm not Carl Hester, but based on the response, I don't know that even that would get through!


                        • #13
                          LilyandBaron - that's the other side of it. Some just don't want advice or criticism, despite how it looks. I don't think there's anything wrong with constructive criticism and you can't always expect it to be received in a positive way no matter how you spin it.

                          I remember going back and looking at old video I posted once cantering on my first horse and pretty much stark beginner. I was so proud of that video and now when I watch it, it makes me cringe the way I was hanging on my poor horse's mouth. No one said anything at the time, but I wish they had. If you weren't ugly or rude about it, I wouldn't worry about it. And it may have ruffled her feathers, but perhaps it will make her take a second look, see what others see, and try to do better.
                          "Horses are too spency!" - Mom


                          • #14
                            I post videos on my Instagram all the time, which is public and has over 12k followers so not just family and friends. If there is something notable about the ride (like first ride on a new horse) I may say that in the caption. I don’t mind a comment offering a critique or advice as long as it’s polite. If I get a nasty comment I will just delete it and block the person if it was bad enough.

                            You need to have thick skin when posting publicly and make sure you rely on your trainer/vet/real life team when it comes to most things. I have found a great network of horse people and gotten some wonderful advice via posting online too. 95% of people I find are supportive, you just have to ignore the 5% who are not.


                            • #15
                              LilyandBaron in that case I would just try not take it personally that she took it personally. Maybe you still planted a seed there, it just upset her in the moment that she saw your comment. Maybe the thought that it's still not right will keep festering and make her seek out more instruction. Maybe not too, but that ball's in her court. I think your tone on it was really nice and the best way you could present what you wanted to say, but she doesn't have to like it or react well to it when she just wanted people to be excited for her.

                              Maybe (even if it was objectively pretty bad) it felt like or even was a big improvement over previous rides. In which case, yes, yikes, but also I get where she was excited about having a better ride and just wanted to share that. It doesn't sound likely that she has many friends who know much more than her as far as riding, otherwise you wouldn't have been alone in your thoughts. Not everyone wants to keep getting better, she might be perfectly happy trying to get good enough to get by. That's what differentiates the horseman from the rider, really, but there's certainly room for both in the world. Hopefully she's able to improve enough (although it sounds like she's not the only one riding the horse?) where the horse is comfortable and safe.


                              • #16
                                It's also worth noting that the moment you post a video or photo publicly, it can be copied and reposted by anyone on the internet, without any context. It could go into permanent circulation as a bad example of bouncy hands, or it could get picked up maliciously by a troll type website. You just lose control of the image once you post it.

                                It's also probably true that many real beginners, especially kids, are just so excited about any video or photos, that they want to share with the world and post any images they have of themselves. And on the other hand, real pros might have very nice semi-professional edited footage of them scoring well at Grand Prix, that is part of their marketing publicity. In between there are all us intermediates of various descriptions, who have a good enough eye to see when we are riding NQR and know we can do better and don't necessarily want *that* video out there representing us.


                                • #17
                                  At this point, I am so tired of the internet being treated as people's own personal brag chamber where the only appropriate response is headpats, that I just completely ignore these videos when people post them. I've unjoined a lot of fb groups where the sole purpose seems to be people keeping a personal journal with an audience. I feel it's disingenuous to tell people they're doing just peachy when the video clearly shows that they're not. I don't see it as an occasion to help or offer commentary, but all the people saying "great!!" are just not helping either.

                                  the more I have to deal with social media, the more I see the value of true, in real life, friends.
                                  Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                  you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the long as its in a conservative color.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                                    At this point, I am so tired of the internet being treated as people's own personal brag chamber where the only appropriate response is headpats, that I just completely ignore these videos when people post them. I've unjoined a lot of fb groups where the sole purpose seems to be people keeping a personal journal with an audience. I feel it's disingenuous to tell people they're doing just peachy when the video clearly shows that they're not. I don't see it as an occasion to help or offer commentary, but all the people saying "great!!" are just not helping either.

                                    the more I have to deal with social media, the more I see the value of true, in real life, friends.
                                    I can agree with this. Social media is basically a highlight reel of someone's life. Nothing bad happens, nothing bad can be said.

                                    Meupatdoes makes a great point about constructive criticism. It's frustrating when someone tells you what's wrong, but now how to fix it. Unless you are simply asking, point out what is wrong.

                                    Opinions on the internet are generally worth what you pay for them. Sometimes people don't know enough about the situation and speculate and add in all sorts of junk.

                                    I can appreciate the experienced and well meaning posters on here, but if I post a picture of a horse that I caught standing funky in a moment of time, that doesn't mean he has suspensory issues, a sore SI, ulcers, and thin soles. The diagnostics on here can be far fetched and odd. Sometimes they are spot on and useful, so I don't want to discredit anyone, but sometimes the armchair vets/nutritionists/whatever can be a bit much. I imagine the same goes for riding critique.

                                    I have access to a good coach and other pros. So I'm fortunate in that respect.

                                    But if you post a video, you can get all kinds of riff raff.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      This post makes me feel better - I do feel badly for the rider as well - she said she's in lessons, but it's so easy as a beginner to not know the difference between good and bad. I do off-breeds/rescues, so this group was for people using a non-traditional breed as a sporthorse, so it's a mix - some really talented riders doing great things, but lots of beginner/re-riders that aren't perhaps as knowledgeable. I can hope, at least, that maybe I planted the thought that behavior issues could be due to the riding/training...


                                      • #20
                                        You can't caveat (sic) anything. For a few reasons. The internet does not produce all good outcomes, IME.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat