The Social Media Gauntlet

When is it appropriate to call out trainers or training you think is wrong? In what platform is it best done, and how?

With social media, you often see videos or photos make the rounds of the public gauntlet that is Facebook. Societies make the call of what behavior they’re willing to accept and where they draw the line. The discussion of what is considered animal abuse is an ongoing and ever evolving one, and currently we probably can all agree on how flogging a horse is abuse, but we can’t all agree on the grey area in training methods – are bits abusive? Is flooding abusive? Is owning a horse at al abusive?

Keyboard warriors take on their righteous battle in the comment section of videos and articles regularly, but I think it’s important to look at the why and the effects of such things.

If we’re going to call something out, I think it’s important to take into account:

-do I understand this topic as much as or more than the person I’m bringing into question?
-will my opinion benefit people and horses?
-do I just want to feel righteous, superior, better or do I truly want to help?
-is this the appropriate platform, or would a direct message discussion be more effective?
-is my language creating a defensive reaction? As any survivor of 2020 knows, divisive language tends to put people more staunchly on their own camp, rather than to think differently.

On the receiving end of criticism, when is it best to respond with an explanation, take part in a debate, or just delete or ignore? I think the same questions apply here as well.

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