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When someone insults your horse - bit of a rant

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  • It's good to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. People can have very different taste in horses. I have a friend who is always a little critical of my horses, but then I look at hers and I thank my lucky stars I have better taste than she does!

    And Equilibrium, anybody dumb enough to judge a baby by one stupid moment or by how they do at their first show, well, instead of feeling insulted you should probably feel sorry for them, they obviously haven't a clue as to what's involved with bringing up youngsters. Or, consider that most likely their precious youngster did something 100x worse at the previous show and they are just trying to make themselves feel better about it!


    • When I was assigned to the OTTB I rode in high school, you wouldn't believe what he looked like. Block headed, no neck to speak of, ribby and with angles in all the wrong places, and covered in the winter woolies on top of it all. Really, i wasn't blind- i saw what he looked like! But you'd think I was, from all the unnecessary comments from other girls. Ridiculous, really. A few years later I came back to visit from college and I was telling someone which horse i had ridden. They gushed on about how beautiful and wonderful he was, and how lucky I was. Just kind of funny how people can't see the potential, and feel the need to insult or laugh at someone's horse.
      It reminds me of dogs, too. Sure, i think some dogs are hideous, but i rarely vocalize my opinion. Me saying how ugly a dog is won't make it any cuter, and probably wouldn't make the owner love it less.... and why would I want to do that anyway? And it is a different thing all together for ME to say my dog was made from spare parts, than to hear it from someone else.


      • I had a an extremely jealous friend that would berate my riding and my horse any chance she got. She would do it in the form of backhanded compliments. It was more of a jealousy thing than anything else. I had 10+ years of riding experience and lessons as opposed to her lifetime of nothing but backyard riding and recently picking up hunter jumper lessons.

        I was blessed to free lease two wonderful hunters over the course of our friendship (about 4 years) and would hear nothing but snide comments in the form of "well that was okay but you did this so obviously wrong" This "friend" would give her constant, uneducated opinion, to anyone not just me. I just got the brunt of it since I was the closest to her. She would get incredibly insulted if you tried to help her out with her riding though (and she needed it)

        The final straw was when she (stupidly) talked sh!t about me and my horse to a friend and I cut off all ties with her. I pretty much kicked her a$$ at the next horse we went to with my horse "that can't do anything" and pretty much ceased all contact with her.
        Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.


        • Life is too short to be concerned about small minded people, or to let them take up space around you. Just keep smiling and bless their little (very little) pea pickin hearts. Swam em with syrup honey and keep moving.
          "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


          • Actually GAP, I asked you your beef with me. And if you remember correctly I came to your mare's defense on the picture because I saw a nice mare. No other reason. But don't really care. Been there and done that. Now that the idiot that I used to pay is off her back, and I've spent the best part of this year reschooling her myself, I have a pretty darn nice mare. That will be the end of it as I'm done with engaging people who just love to be nasty to others.

            You're right BeeHoney, it was just irritating at the time.

            COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

            "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


            • You did the best thing you could have done. You beat them in the ring. They just showed their im-mature behavior for what it was. Let this stuff pass and chuckle over it with tea. Too bad there have to be people like that in this world but there are many of them. I guess they think by tearing down someone else it make them better? I never understood that personally. Congratulations on your wins. That was the best revenge in the world...


              • I own a TB, I'm a redhead, have Jewish heritage, and (sometimes) act older than I am. Apparently, to some people, all those things are worth saying hurtful things to/about me over.

                Yes, it hurts a little, but that hurt goes right away when pros see my horse go and say "wow. That's a nice horse." The hurt about who I am and what I look like goes away when people appreciate the things about me that others turn into derogatory comments.

                There will always be "mean girls" who get something out of hurting others. Always. There will always be people who will somehow find fault in you, no matter how amazing you are. But there will always be people who will get something out of encouraging you, and seeing the good in you rather than searching for faults. Hang out with the latter sort of person and keep your chin up, dear.
                Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                • Originally posted by Equilibrium View Post
                  Actually GAP, I asked you your beef with me. And if you remember correctly I came to your mare's defense on the picture because I saw a nice mare. No other reason. But don't really care. Been there and done that. Now that the idiot that I used to pay is off her back, and I've spent the best part of this year reschooling her myself, I have a pretty darn nice mare. That will be the end of it as I'm done with engaging people who just love to be nasty to others.

                  You're right BeeHoney, it was just irritating at the time.

                  Terri the ONLY reason for you to come to her defense is that she was a very NICE mare. I never thought it had anything to do with me. Why would it?

                  What's my beef with you? -- do you want an honest answer to that? I'm sure the feeling is mutual. For my part, I'm done engaging with people who couch a lot of cattiness in the yap yap yap.


                  • Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                    Terri the ONLY reason for you to come to her defense is that she was a very NICE mare.

                    I can't stand you and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. For my part, I'm done engaging with people who couch a lot of cattiness in the yap yap yap and act holier than thou.
                    Would the two of you cut it out already? I hate to be so blunt, but this thread isn't about whatever issue you two have with each other. This is about helping the OP (and anyone else reading) deal with someone making mean comments about his/her horse. If you have something constructive to add, please do so, but please take your bickering elsewhere.
                    Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                    • Originally posted by GingerJumper View Post
                      Would the two of you cut it out already? I hate to be so blunt, but this thread isn't about whatever issue you two have with each other. This is about helping the OP (and anyone else reading) deal with someone making mean comments about his/her horse. If you have something constructive to add, please do so, but please take your bickering elsewhere.
                      Actually that would have been the end of it. But some busybody always has to keep stirring up the embers.


                      • Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                        Actually that would have been the end of it. But some busybody always has to keep stirring up the embers.
                        Well, you both had started basically insulting each other so I assumed that would most likely not be the end of it, and this has been a fairly constructive thread that I'd really like to see continued constructively...
                        Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


                        • Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
                          Wait, this silly cow has a warmblood (drop the label "dumb-blood" on her, she'll bristle at that) that is lame 9 mos. of the year? Maybe she's going through withdrawl not being able to ride her speshul horse.

                          One old nasty woman at my old barn, when a lovely girl was unloading her new horse out of her trailer, quipped, "He's got such an ugly head, too bad!" None of us were surprised due to her typical snarky comments about anyone else's horse comparing badly with her crippled snark of a warmblood.

                          Try riding a Saddlebred, we get worse comments than Arab owners (I've owned 2 great Arab mares). I foxhunted my Saddlebred and would get a few snarky comments and people looking down their nose at my mare. She was the toughest horse out there and the Master borrowed her several times when his horse had problems....shut SOME people up, but there are always nasty people who won't like you or your horse no matter what you do.

                          You love your horse, that's what matters....just never say, "He's just a ...fill in the blank..." Although, if someone badmouths my guys, I'll hand them their head in a sack.
                          ^This. Heck, not only have I beenriding Appies since 1977, but I currently have an Arab/Appaloosa. Long ago developed a thick skin; however, the first two Appies outjumped just about everything I put them against (their only failures were RIDER failures), the second was Mr. Reliable at anything from dresage through 2nd level to Competitive Trail Trials, and the current occupant of my horse budget is 16.2 and movies like a WB (H. Gurney gave him an 8+ on gaits). Just make 'em "eat their words!"

                          I once did slightly lose it with this type some years ago (not with present horse), when a "WB" (and it wasn't a particularly good WB) owner came up to me after our 1st stab at 2nd level and said, "That was a nice ride. For an APPALOOSA." I just smiled and said, "Let me know when you do better," knowing that this, ah....rider, had scored in the 40s at TL on an FEI schoolmaster! That individual never did (do better).


                          • I board at a barn that has its share of Mean Girl Barn Drama. I'm an older rerider and I'm overweight so I come in for a lot of snide, condescending remarks. My horse is a tb who belonged to someone who was generally regarded with distaste, so he isn't thought of as much either. Over the years, lets see -

                            - "That horse is such an ugly mover."
                            - "Who knows, he might've had it in the beginning, but they ruined him".
                            - "For your horse to do a 3'6" course, he'd had to be completely remade." (This after a show where he did the 3'3"-3'6"s despite not recently training at that height, and a less than desireable ride, by a trainer whose ego got the best of him. ( In his defense, my horse could've and should've done the 3's but the rider thought he could do it because he thought the height would be more on the 3'3" side. He pulled 3 rails, mostly rider error, but he never tried to stop or pull out of any jump. The horse is honest and got heart.)
                            - Various remarks regarding his disastrous conformation.
                            - Once at a show, I ran into someone who knew my horse's former owner, and the horse. Upon my telling him that the horse was mine now, he informed me that the horse was such trash he wouldn't even feed him.
                            - The best thing that anyone says about him is that he's a good boy. ( The subtext being, because he carts me around)
                            - He was diagnosed last January with proximal suspensory desmitus in a hind leg. The vet said he may have had it for a while. He may have done that jumper class with it. The BO kept telling me I needed to get a new horse, something nice I could have fun with. I had to make it very clear to him that I was going to give my horse time to try to heal. He just can't understand that concept.

                            Now, there's a grain of truth to all those comments ( except the one about him being trash), but I can't say any of those comments were constructive in any way. On the other hand, I've gotten some lovely comments from others. One girl told me it had made her week to ride him after I let her ride him. Others think he's gorgeous. And even the ones who've disparaged him, actually quite like him when they've ridden him.

                            I won't go into the things said to me, suffice it to say I'm considered a crazy, old lady. I get hurt, angry and sometimes lash out, especially after hearing heavy doses of it. Sometimes it's like being at high school and having to sit at the lunch table with the mean girls. It's truly taken a lot of the fun out of it all, but bad on me for letting it get to me.

                            Stolen Virtue said:
                            There are times I just hate being at a barn full of wanna be trainers and vets.
                            I just try to avoid people.

                            This thread is great, a real catharsis for almost anyone involved with the competitive world of horses. FWIW, OP, know you're not alone.


                            • I'd use it as motivation to prove her wrong. Nothing shuts people up better than action and results. Now get to work on making him into a hunter...jump can be improved with gymnastics and good ground work. He can do it.


                              • Originally posted by EuroseatTB View Post
                                An alter.
                                Is it normal to feel extremely mama bear when someone says something disparaging *to your face* about your horse? I swear I would take it better if it was an insult directed at me then to my horse. How much more do you want to prove them wrong?

                                Was having lunch with a barn friend who I've gotten semi close to, but always kept an arms length from because of her huge mouth and incessant pessimism. I adore my horse and I plan to take him to the local shows next year and hopefully do well in whatever box I fit into by then. Adult eq, hunters, maybe even some derbies! It all depends. His jump isn't gorgeous, but may be...but his canter is lovely and a close friend who competed for years on the A circuit thinks he's very typey and has a nice hunter look. Grumpy friend at lunch who has a WB compared our two horses and said something to the gist of, well you may win the eq but your horse is no hunter (insert loud condescending laugh) and we'll be taking the hunters - just because she's got a nice WB that happens to have been lame 9 months out of the year and she's been riding one decade as compared to my three. Okay, snarky on my part but I was mad!

                                Honestly, it really irked me and made me wonder how others feel when people can be so rude, especially to your face about your horse. It actually fueled me to train my butt off for next year. All I've been is a supporting person to those I ride with. I hate the mean girl side of this sport.

                                Honestly, it does seem to hurt when someone criticizes a horse of mine ( or any animals we have). Not because I am blind to their shortcomings but because I love them so!!

                                I would say just consider the source and know she probably does it to make up for her own lack of self esteem, self worth ( whatever her reasons are). You find these people everywhere.


                                • I understand how you feel, OP. And from all the posts, I think just about everyone does. I'm pretty sure everyone has an experience like this, no matter the breed and cost of their horse.

                                  I'm not going to tell you not to let it bother you, because I know that's near impossible. But even if it bothers you, you do have to remember that not every horse is right for every person and you adore your horse and make a great team regardless what she thinks. For example, there's a reason a horse for sale will be visited and tried by multiple people before someone comes along and falls in love.

                                  I have two trainers, one for dressage and one for jumping. My dressage trainer comes to my barn and I ride my horse next door to my jump trainer. My dressage trainer is well known in the area and is a very honest woman. She constantly praises my horse for having a wonderful mind and great gaits that are influential enough that they can only get better. My jump trainer, on the other hand, is a huge Debbie Downer. Given, my horse is like two different beasts in a dressage ring and in a jump ring. She is so cool, collected and relaxed doing dressage, but put her in a ring with jumps and she is on fire, which I appreciate to an extent.

                                  Yesterday we had an amazing dressage lesson. Today we had a great jump lesson, although a crappy warmup. Java was more on her toes than usual today, looking around, dodging around the jumps while warming up. And my jump trainer is all, "she's softer to the right, although she doesn't have a nice canter in either direction," "*insert snobbish snicker* are you sure she knows how to come on the bit?" When she made us trot low rails to help relax my horse, which my horse absolutely does not respect low rails but I understand the concept, she was like, "your horse should probably just do this for the rest of her life." But you know what? I stick with her because she's conveniently located and because I do see results. I could care less what she thinks about my horse. We're always in the ribbons including some awesome wins and she performs her absolute best off the property.

                                  My trainer is just jealous!


                                  • I used to trail ride exclusively and at the time was riding my appy mare who was the best trail horse I'd ever been on, barr none. Well, we were taking a short break sitting on our horses and one woman told me she thought my horse was a crappy trail horse and I should get rid of her. Whoa! where did that come from? I asked her, my horse? Annie? Her response - yeah, she's no good, you should sell her. All the while with a frown and shaking her head.

                                    I told her if I wanted her opinion, I'd have asked for it and to keep her nasty comments to herself.

                                    There are some people that just have to put others down to make themselves feel good.
                                    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                                    • I've had my very long list of insults that were very unjust and hurtful.

                                      What I have learned and am trying so hard to believe (So my feelings don't remain hurt), is that the people who DO NOT MATTER are always the biggest talkers with the snarkiest, ignorant (To your situation) things to say.

                                      The people who DO MATTER (grand prix riders telling me how cool my horse is, Greg Best {YESSSS} saying he's super cool, etc... as opposed to people who do NOTHING saying he's dangerous...etc) always have something constructive to say. That construction CAN come in the form of "negativity" but it's always done politely and is almost always helpful.

                                      Pick and choose who's words you let seep into your head. Life is better that way.

                                      *and yes, it's normal to have hurt feelings if someone picks on your horse!
                                      Horse Drawings!