Why Isn’t the Advice I Sought on the Internet Working?
The internet is a valuable learning tool. We have google and YouTube in our pockets all day long, ready and waiting to answer our questions. Really, we have no excuse not to learn in this day and age. Lots of good horsemen and women are on social media, sharing valuable information for free with the public, eager to help. We want you to succeed, and we want horses everywhere to experience a better life through the education of their owners. Most of us don’t mind taking time out of our hectic days to help answer your questions, but when it comes to advice over the internet, it gets tricky.
So why doesn’t internet advice always end up with the desired effect?
-you may not have described the problem accurately. If you don’t understand the problem and its roots, it’s easy to miss important details. Or you don’t understand the relation of one problem to another. This isn’t a fault of yours, but it makes giving out advice without seeing the issue in person tricky. Why is your horse biting “out of the blue?” I don’t know, because I didn’t see how it was lead into the barn, I didn’t see the 12 treats it was given before it bit, I didn’t see it’s daily routine with you, so I really can’t say.
-you may misinterpret my advice. Without being able to physically show you and make sure you understand, my words have to run through the filter of how I perceive things, through the filter of how you perceive things. Then that has to be processed through your ability, and finally interpreted by your horse. So, like a game of telephone, the chances are high that what I said and what gets done are not the same.
-you could get hurt. This is the last thing any of us want. So if you ask me “how do I get my horse to stop bucking,” but your timing isn’t right or you misinterpreted the reason he bucks, and you take a spill, I would feel absolutely responsible for your injury. I don’t want you to be hurt, I want you to be safe and enjoy riding.
-you could interrupt a training program you already have going with your current trainer. Ask any trainer about this and watch their eyes roll back into their head, never to be seen again. No trainer wants to be working with a client on a program that is working, only to have them say “but YouTube Sensation So-and-So says…” I don’t want to be that person. I’m not there with your horse daily like your trainer is. So it’s best you take their advice first. Also, any good advice won’t work in fragments, so if you try to piece meal different programs together with a program that is incompatible, none of it will work.
-you could cause harm to your horse. This, along with you getting hurt, is about the worst thing I can imagine.
So don’t hesitate to reach out for help; but consider these things when asking for advice. We love to help, but we’re much more helpful in person.
Photo is of Mary Ann Downey and her lovely pony