Friday, January 16, 2015

5 things I don't get about equestrian blogland

So, confession: I started this blog when I was feeling kind of stuck with my old blog and disenchanted with the equestrian blogosphere in general. I was tired of the contests and blog hops and the endless pontificating about saddles fitting or not fitting (I get it; it's frustrating, but also terribly uninteresting to anyone but you and your horse). I decided I was going to leave all the nonsense parts of blogging behind and just blog FOR ME. No blog hops, no "X Things That ____" type articles, no validation needed from anyone. I am a blogger, hear me roar kind of thing.

But I miss the pageviews, okay??

 I know that in the grand scheme of things, my old blog's pageviews and comment count were pretty insignificant. But once you've experienced the "They like me, they really like me!" high of comments, or randomly woken up to one of your articles on the front page of Reddit, all you want is another hit (or 1000) to make you feel like all the hours of trivia and navel-gazing are worthwhile.

Click to enbiggen

So today I'm going to revert back to my comfortable old "X Things That ____" style. And in the spirit of cantankerousness, my theme is various things that drive me nuts about the equestrian blogosphere.

And before you jump down my throat (all one of you out there) I completely recognize I am part of the problem. But it's my blog so I'm allowed to complain. So there!

Trends du jour

Have you ever noticed how one person buys XYZ...and then suddenly EVERYONE is buying XYZ? (coughOGILVYcough) Oh the commercialism! Stop! You do not need one more saddle pad!
Following trends does not a rider make
Flickr: carterse/ CC

Mango Bay belts

And while I'm on the subject of trends, there is one that I find infuriating enough to merit its own section.
Mango Bay Design
They're just belts, for crying out loud. Sure, they have horsey patterns, but otherwise they look like what came free with the khakis from Kohl's my mother bought me in middle school.  Why is seemingly every equestrian blogger obsessed with them? I have no idea.

How in the world can you afford ____?!

Custom saddles, custom boots, training rides, show after show after show--first of all, why? And second of all, how? I know that there are reasonable answers to these questions but my initial reaction when I hear of extravagant expenses like these is always WTF?!

That's not to say I am immune from boot envy.
NY Social Diary

The pressure to comment just to comment all the freaking time.

A few times I have seen bloggers mention something like, "Oh, so sorry I haven't been keeping up with commenting but I have been reading everyone's blogs." Seriously? Do people have a list of blogs they read and feel like they must comment on every single post? I guess it's fair if you want people to comment in return, but doesn't it make life so boring if all the comments are nonsense placeholders like, "Your horse is so cute" or "Loved this"?

It also peeves me (a lot of things peeve me, you've probably intuited) when I see bloggers who respond individually to every single comment. Ain't nobody got time for that. Stop making the rest of us (me) look bad.

Trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result

I'm totally guilty of this (though I didn't really write about my struggles because I'm a big old weenie), but it's so obvious when you're looking in from the outside, and you read about a rider being unbearably nervous every single ride, or a horse being consistently mediocre (or sometimes, spectacularly terrible) at shows or other outings.  


Why are you torturing yourself with this horse/this discipline/etc.? I just want to comment. But I don't. Instead I just grab the popcorn and await the trainwreck. And I bet most blog readers/writers would be lying if they said they haven't ever enjoyed a little schadenfreude themselves!

Well, now that I've insulted and alienated anyone who is reading...what bugs you the most about the equestrian blogosphere?

EDIT: One more pet peeve, after a friend reminded me of it. Moving up from 2'6" to 2'9", or 3'3" from 3' is not as big a deal as people think it is!! If your horse can stand over the jump, he can probably jump it from a trot. It's generally the person who makes a big deal about moving up in height, not the horse.

Ahhh. It feels so good to let it all out there. Especially when I have so few readers to blow up at me.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It only took 13 years

 I had every intention of being a responsible young adult and studying for my Series 7 exam on Friday...but when my instructor texted me that afternoon to say that the weather was great for riding, well...an addict can only resist temptation so long. I'd been cooped up in a classroom from 8:30-5pm all week, it snowed, and temps have barely budged over the 25-degree mark all week. I'm sure in some places that's just life as usual, but in Maryland it tends to bring all nonessential activities to a grinding halt.