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Gentle reminder of hunt field etiquette (and I'm probably as guilty as the next person . . .)

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  • Gentle reminder of hunt field etiquette (and I'm probably as guilty as the next person . . .)

    Rode out with a big group last hunt. Chose to go hilltoppers as my DD was riding out on my new horse who has only seen four hunts and has yet to be invited up. Both horses were well mannered, responsive, and kept a good distance between themselves and horses around them. While my horse was dead quiet,, the new horse did do some fidgeting at checks (foot shuffling, bit chomping, nothing more) and jigged a bit when he should have been walking. However, from the start, an older member --as in probably 70s --felt it was her task to tell my DD how to ride this horse.

    The older member sought DD out rode beside her when possible and gave her a non-stop lecture on how to ride. The older member explained in long winded detail horse psychology, proper riding technique, training methods, and had infinite suggestions on what my DD should be doing. DD was polite in return, listened, and tried to ride away from the older member. No matter how many times we switched places to put me between DD and older member, the woman would find away to ride up beside DD and continue her instructions --but here's the rub --DD is a professional --a good one --one who has taken many horses from untrained to soaring over CC courses at the Intermediate level. To my eye --DD was doing a great job of riding the horse quietly in a new situation. He was willing, calm, and kept his mind on his work. At no time did he become unglued --he was just a bit nervous --however, my point is -- one does not train or instruct on the hunt field. The older member should not have been giving advice, lessons, or her vast insight on all things horse-related.

    Secondly, when hunting, one is supposed to keep the conversation to a minimum --while pointing to a fox and shouting "Tally Ho!" is acceptable, other conversations should be held at checks or at the club house after the hunt. But how does a young member say to an older member --"Zip it!"

    As I said, I am not without fault and have at times (ok, many times) be admonished by the hilltop leader to keep quiet ( I do tend to talk to my horse). But honestly, if you see yourself as one of those people who, while hunting, is offering advise to others --and no one asked you for help --then maybe you should wait until someone does.

    And there will (sadly) for me not be an opportunity to implement any suggestions on what DD should have done or should do in the future to forestall unwanted advise on the hunt field . DD lives far from me and does not have an opportunity to ride out with me often. As for me, no one gives me advise on the hunt field --either they have given up thinking anything can improve my riding or I'm too hard of hearing to know when someone is giving me suggestions.

  • #2
    Wow, that's so annoying. Perhaps the older member is approaching senility?? So sorry that your experience hunting with your DD was spoiled by this person. I sympathize because I have a particular horror of being cornered by aggressively "conversational" people in situations when I'm trying to mind my own business!!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I thought that was possible, too BeeHoney, that the older member had earned her colors and was forever delightfully tolerated chit-chat and all. And I hope that some day, I will be that member (the old one, delightfully tolerated). Since this was not my usual group --I did notice the hilltop leader turned a blind eye or a deaf ear to the chatting --just thought it was something we all could improve on --as I said, I'm often admonished for talking to my horse --at least, I think it's me that's talking, maybe Mr. Ed is talking to me!

      Comment


      • #4
        What BeeHoney said. I'm sorry that overbearing old person behaved so badly. I don't know why some old people think that age gives them the right to lecture younger people. I had something similar happen to me just this morning -- not horse-related but just as inappropriate and frustrating. "Sharing one's wisdom" is one thing, when it's asked for, and in appropriate settings. But as you said, Foxglove, this was not an appropriate setting; not only was this woman being rude, she could have put a less-experienced rider at risk.

        And what can be done about it? Hopefully someone will chime in with some suggestions on how to respond in such a situation. "Gentle reminders" just don't work on know-it-alls.
        "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

        Comment


        • #5
          If I may, I will take the liberty of adding on to the OP's gentle recommendations by gently suggesting that adult riders use their words, at the time of an issue. A rider, a friend of the rider or, once alerted to the situation, the hilltop leader, could perhaps have corrected this at the time, maturely and directly.

          As in, [Eye contact] "Thank you, but I am riding my horse in the way that I know works best for him. Also, I prefer to refrain from conversation while in the field. I hope you don't mind. Thank you again." [Eye contact.]

          Then the rest of the ride can be redeemed, rather than allowing someone else to ruin one's day out. This is why there are rules. But if we are having a bad ride due to someone else not following the rules, and we say nothing, nothing changes.

          As a complete aside, anyone who assumes that I am senile in my 70s (I'm mid-50s now, so the 70s are not that far away), might be meeting Jesus a whole lot sooner than I will. Just saying. :-)

          Comment


          • #6
            Agreed, assuming an "older" person is senile or bordering just because they're older than we are is unrealistic and unkind.

            But for a hilltop leader to "shush" OP and not this older person is discriminatory.

            And having earned one's colors gives one the responsibility of behaving appropriately, not of taking advantage of one's privilege by chatting and distracting -- even annoying -- other riders.
            Last edited by RPM; Oct. 16, 2017, 09:57 PM.
            "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

            Comment


            • #7
              Next time, you need to get between them and introduce DD to the elder member and stress her professional credentials in your introduction.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SharonA View Post
                If I may, I will take the liberty of adding on to the OP's gentle recommendations by gently suggesting that adult riders use their words, at the time of an issue. A rider, a friend of the rider or, once alerted to the situation, the hilltop leader, could perhaps have corrected this at the time, maturely and directly.

                As in, [Eye contact] "Thank you, but I am riding my horse in the way that I know works best for him. Also, I prefer to refrain from conversation while in the field. I hope you don't mind. Thank you again." [Eye contact.]
                Lol, 99% of COTH advice posts are essentially requests for information on how adult riders can resolve issues they encounter without having to use their words, and especially not at the time of the issue.
                The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  meupatdoes --you make an excellent point. Generally when I ask for an opinion on COTH or advice it is to avoid what I fear may turn into a conflict. Sometimes (about half) I am told by COTH folks that I am in the wrong --that the issue is not important or the conduct not expected by the majority who take the time to respond (ex, should people who ride in my trailer at my invitation remove their own horse's poop when unloaded at their stable or venue). And often there is the statement "grow a backbone" --but what I appreciate most is suggested dialogue --when a long-time riding friend WOULD NOT stay off her phone during long hauls (hour -hour and a half), kind COTH members helped me address the annoyance by giving me exact words to use that were kind but addressed the issue. I used what was suggested and for the most part, the issue was somewhat resolved (did happen one more time, but I repeated the phrase and hasn't happened since.) I appreciate what people tell me on the BB --even when I don't agree with it --I think COTH want to help even if it is to tell me to grow a spine!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think we can all use a reminder that just like no one learns something new in the schooling area before the class, no one makes big changes in their riding or training out in the hunt field.

                    I was out on a very reactive OTTB and we were going through a rough field with tall grass and briars, and horse was humping his back every time something hit his belly. A well-meaning member rode up beside me and said - "Be careful, honey - he looks like he's going to go up."

                    Ya think? And what do you suggest I do about it? Teleport outta here?

                    Again, well and kindly meant, just not terribly useful in the moment.
                    Last edited by McGurk; Oct. 17, 2017, 01:32 PM.
                    The plural of anecdote is not data.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      McGurk --you made me laugh out loud --"Teleport otta here!" My FIL was the WORST for the "learn something new in the schooling area before the class" advise/instruction to my daughters when they were first starting out. We would have worked all summer on diagonals and posting, hand position, seat, heels down, tight knees --and then off to a tiny show with their sparkling clean horses. And then Grandpa would show up with Grandma in tow.

                      The girls adored them --they so wanted to do well while they watched --but always, Grandpa would march into the schooling ring, and start the litany of "do this, do that" --none of it terribly useful and way too much at one time to process. He'd adjust stirrups, hand position, posture and then, overwhelmed, the little girls would go into the ring and try their best to do as he'd said --when things went well --he took credit: "See, when you listen to me, you win!" --when things didn't go well, he told them, "You should have listened to what I told you." --his last minute advice, in my mind, was self-aggrandizement --he was Superman coming in at the last minute to save the world --and if it didn't get saved, not his fault, kid didn't listen. Oh, and FIL background in horses? None.

                      Eventually, DH started heading him off before he got to the ring --but FIL was one of those people who you know loves us, but can't seem to find the best way to express it --at least he came to their little shows and was interested.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ugh. I really truly believe that everyone should keep their eyes on their own paper unless someone is creating a dangerous situation for others. In which case, your duty is to report that to the field master.

                        I once brought with me to a hound walking session, a lady from my barn who spent years galloping on the track for some esteemed trainers including several Derby winners and contenders. She's really pretty awesome.

                        At one point, her horse got a little fresh but nothing she couldn't handle. Another hunt member, who isn't the strongest rider by any means (2nd or 3rd field) proceeded to give her a "lesson" on how to ride and canter across a hill. God bless my friend - she just turned to her and said, "yeah, I got this." Later, I filled in the member on my friend's credentials. She was embarrassed to say the least. Needless to say, she got the lesson that day.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          SharonA, I think senility is a more forgivable flaw than being deliberately unkind. Yes, it is cruel to follow a young person around that you don't know and berate them with unasked for and unhelpful advice.

                          If you were going to say something at the time, I'd choose to fight fire with fire...introduce yourself and your daughter and then start on a long winded brag about your daughter and her equestrian accomplishments, etc, then wrap up by kindly pointing out what a lucky mother you are to have her with you for such a short visit and to have this ONE single day to hunt with her.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SharonA View Post

                            As a complete aside, anyone who assumes that I am senile in my 70s (I'm mid-50s now, so the 70s are not that far away), might be meeting Jesus a whole lot sooner than I will. Just saying. :-)
                            I'm also in my 50s, but didn't find the suggestion insulting. It is certainly possible that there is some sort mild dementia starting to happen in this person that is causing cognitive impairment. One would have to know whether her personality has changed, or if she's always been a chatter-box and a busy-body.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Isn't this the perfect application for the good ol' "Bless your heart!"?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                well, there is a phenomena with older folks that's called disinhibition. Not senility at all, in the sense that they aren't forgetting things or not making sense. But rather that they lose a filter or can no longer be bothered to have a filter. I feel like our filters get more and more astute as we move from being rattly teens through adult hood, especially if we have jobs that require tact. Then at a certain point, they start to get less firm.

                                The topic came up when friend was discussing her father and his friends in retirement homes. People get more wiling to be raunchy, to swear, to say what they think, compared to how they were 30 years earlier. Perhaps it is an early sign of the aging brain but it isn't senility at all as we think of it.

                                Also lots of older people get a little isolated, and want to chatter endlessly.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't have much to add to what's already been covered here; my only suggestion, should DD find herself in this pickle again, would be to say to the long-winded member "I don't want to get in trouble for talking in the field...perhaps you could find me at the breakfast and we'll chat then?". Although it sounds as though that might not have worked.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm surprised that someone who is a regular member of the hunt would try to talk so much during the actual hunt. Last time I went hunting, people weren't chatty at all. I don't think I recall much being spoken except when one person got called out for not turning their cell phone off (it rang during a check)
                                    Last edited by SnicklefritzG; Oct. 21, 2017, 01:03 AM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      If totally ignoring the chatty know-it-all (regardless of age) wasn't enough of a hint to shake her off, wouldn't a polite, "Please stop talking" be sufficient? No need to explain DD's credentials, make introductions or anything else...

                                      The above statement works well when unwanted advice is offered during show ring warm up, trailer-loading and just about any other stressful difficulty that is encountered with horses
                                      Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Lusoluv View Post
                                        If totally ignoring the chatty know-it-all (regardless of age) wasn't enough of a hint to shake her off, wouldn't a polite, "Please stop talking" be sufficient? No need to explain DD's credentials, make introductions or anything else...

                                        The above statement works well when unwanted advice is offered during show ring warm up, trailer-loading and just about any other stressful difficulty that is encountered with horses
                                        I think it would be rude and ill-advised for a new member or guest to tell and older- and established member of the hunt what to do.

                                        I know it seems odd in the 21st century US of A, particularly with the crass and outspoken person we put into the Oval Office (because, so many voters said, "they didn't always like what he said, but they liked it that he said it".... but! The hunt field is one of those throw-back, uber-hierarchical places. It doesn't matter what the established member does wrong: the younger and newbie is supposed to be polite in response.

                                        And the hierarchy being All, if you have a problem with that member that amounts to a non-petty issue, you "go to the proper authority" which is the Master of whatever field you are in.

                                        That's all, no more, no less. And no saying nothing and nursing a grudge or schooling someone on the interwebz after the fact anonymously.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

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