Returning to the show world after a ten year absence really opened my eyes to the social dynamics between “pleasure/show enthusiasts” and “barrel racers/gamers/speed eventers”. Through adult eyes I see the relationships a bit more clearly. The reoccurring pattern I see in these relationships you ask? Everyone is a critic. The show people think barrel racers are rough, speed craving (OK so maybe we love the speed), idiot hot heads with no horsemanship skills. The barrel racers think the show people are fussy, uptight ninnies that couldn’t ride a non fancy broke horse as far as they could throw it. (Although not all people fit this stereotype!)
Whether you are a show person, or a racer, or maybe even the odd person that is passionate about both…… I just want to say.
Shut up! You are not an expert in all fields!
Is that too harsh? Quite possibly.
My objective is not to completely categorize people and point fingers about what disciplines are better or more skilled. I simply want people to respect each other and realize. We all have opinions. We all have our own way of doing things. We all have things we enjoy doing with our horses.
Sometimes it makes me sad to be back in the show ring.
All the harsh critics and know it all’s kind of kill my mood and take away the fun.
I show because its something I enjoy doing. I enjoy learning more about all different types of disciplines, connecting with my horse, and getting out there and participating.
However, I do realize people have different intensities of focus. This post isn’t meant to point fingers or raise tempers. It’s simply a plea for people to realize we are all different in our styles and levels, and to be nice to one another.
And if you have to be a critic. Be a nice one. Be the person that offers friendly observations or your own experiences. Be the person that lends a hand if you see someone struggling. Be the person you would want to be around.
It’s called sportsmanship.
And no matter what disciplines you ride, no matter what level you ride at, sportsmanship should be the one thing we as horsemen all have in common.