Talking with fellow blogger: Emma we both came to similar conclusions when it comes to the general topic of "advice" in the horse world. More specifically, why we ask for advice from others. To be clear, this isn't when you ask advice from a trainer or instructor...it's when you ask advice from fellow riders or someone you are not paying.
The end result usually ends with the person you ask getting offended because you rejected their advice, or you get offended by whatever it is they suggest. Even if no one admits to being offended, they are. Not always, but I admit I have gotten a bit ruffled in the past by some advice shared.
BUT lets visit why we ask for advice to begin with.
For me, it is usually out of desperation and a place of insecurity. In some way it is my way of seeking some sort of validation. Well when you get an answer you weren't exactly expecting or one that feeds the validation, feelings get hurt.
So how do we remedy this? It sounds so simple...just dont ask or seek validation from anyone else but yourself and your trusted professional right? Easy peasy. But this wonderful sport totally sucks us in and whether you are a professional or an amateur, one that just dabbles or takes it seriously we all are invested. It's personal.
We are dealing with another living, breathing, thinking thing that throws curve balls our way and forces us to always be on our toes. Some horses more than others! Either way, those curve balls sometimes reveal our insecurities in what we are doing...is my horse happy? Are we progressing on the right path? Is my horse sound? What comes next?
Sooooo many questions arise and sometimes even our trusted paid professionals we rely on can't answer them or give us the satisfaction. Mostly we want to know right now! Again, because we want the validation and we want a clear statement with a concrete conclusion. So we ask...or vent about it to those around us and by doing that, it opens the door to receiving the advice.
The advice given is simply what has worked or happened in that particular person's experience. So if you really think about it, they are sharing a piece of themselves with you. They are sharing when they experienced a similar insecure time. I try to remind myself of this...especially when the advice is given unsolicited and without the open door conversation happening.
**Sigh** most of the time I try to believe people's intentions are good. Then the getting offended seems to not happen so easily.
Our horses always seem to be teaching us the life lesson...time and patience. Two things that are really hard to be ok with and settle into while you're hanging out "in the meantime" waiting for an answer. Whether it is a training/riding frustration or a soundness one - Both are ones that eat at us until we feel we have resolution.
At the end of the day our horses are our passion. When we question or vent or talk we are questioning our own ability which always makes a person feel fragile. Hopefully there is eventually a resolution which always seems to happen over an extraordinarily long amount of time. BUT hopefully you walk away from it a little wiser.