Again with the awesome questions! Cathryn at That Red Mare started a discussion that totally got my eyes twitching and blood boiling. Way to go, girl!
Also, the as-requested AWESOME SPUD PIC!!!
What’s your biggest horse-related pet peeve?
First up, horses that try to bully people. Horse bullies can do so aggressively (lots of other people mentioned this — biting, kicking, etc.), passive-aggressively, or just kindof obtusely. I despise them all, but most recently have had to deal with several horses in the passive-aggressive and obtuse camps. One was so busy trying to get to his bucket that he completely forgot his manners around me and pinched my hand between a tie ring and the wall and then hit my in the head with his head. The second one was after I reminded him to back the fuck off, and he still thought he could just barge through me to get to his bucket. I am not one to stifle a horse’s autonomy, and I believe that horses have as much of a right as we do to express their desires. But when I’ve asked for something reasonable (please, let’s move you and your delicious bucket of grain to another location), and asked you once to be more careful about my person, it is garbage for you to go ahead and try to shove me around anyway.
I’ve also talked extensively of my hatred of speed as an evasion.
Horses that cut off arena corners also really bother me. This is especially true when my own horse decides he’s going to cut off arena corners. Yes, I know you have your little pony track and you want to make your life easier and your path shorter, but I’m telling you to get over into the corner so GET OVER.
Cathryn also talked about rearing (bad), and refusing to load (bad!), and others have discussed horse-horse aggression (bad!!!), and I agree with all of those.
What is your biggest equestrian related pet peeve?
For people that work with large, unpredictable animals as a hobby, I find an alarming number of equestrians inconsiderate and strangely unobservant. Why are you feeding your horse grain in the middle of the main tack up area on a busy day? Why did you not stop lunging your horse when you saw that another horse in the area was REARING AND LEAPING OFF THE GROUND? My horse is losing his shit in the middle of the arena, perhaps you could not cross on the diagonal in between me and the nearest jump? And for fuck’s sake CLOSE THE DAMN GATE. And don’t just hold it shut, latch it. Do you think a loose horse couldn’t bowl you over by hitting the gate?!
close the gate!
Everyone has off days and is entitled to make mistakes, I get it. And as someone whose horse is more ridiculous and unpredictable than normal, if you have shared the tacking up space with me I have almost definitely put your life in danger at one point or another — and I’m sorry about that. But at all other times I do absolutely everything I can to make sure that my velociturd is not inconveniencing or endangering you and your horse outside of our idiot moments. Yet somehow a shockingly large percentage of equestrians leave breastplates dangling, gates unlatched, and park their horses or spectators in inconvenient — nay, even dangerous! — locations on the reg. Now that I’m writing this out, it probably really is because I am so often on the recipient end of a helping hand, but I try to absolutely spring into action whenever I see horse people that need help. Do you need a pony into the water? Want an extra hand while you get your helmet on? Do you want me to just leave you alone so you can sort out your ish?
Another huge one is the Dunning-Kruger effect. Don’t know about Dunning-Kruger? That’s okay, you really do — you just didn’t know it had a name. It’s the “ignorami don’t know what they don’t know” effect. More specifically, people with limited abilities tend to vastly overestimate their skills, whereas people with a realistic understanding of their skills tend to underestimate their skills. So if you think you suck, you’re probably doing pretty okay! Unfortunate corollary: if you think you’re awesome… you may suck.
Dunning-Kruger is rampant in equestrian sports. You know all those people who comment absurd comments on peoples’ insta photos — “heels down!” “give him more release!” or (my personal fave, on a counter-canter exercise post by Lainey) “wrong lead” on pro accounts? Yeah, they toooooootally are super knowledgable and capable and never, ever make a mistake riding. Maybe it’s unfair to consider this a pet peeve, but I feel that it’s probably highly correlated with being a teenager, and I think it’s totally legit to dislike teenagers, right?