Saturday, October 17, 2009

Doing Things Right, Doing Things Wrong?

For the second time in the last few days I am not exactly going to post in the manner which my readers are accustomed to here. Yes, I admit, this post will be a slight bit snarky and sarcastic in delivery. That said, and with apologies in advance, we shall begin.

Okay, here it is. A picture is worth 1000 words, right? And, naturally, we can tell exactly what lead to the image being taken simply by viewing the picture? We know exactly how, what, where, when and why? This is just incredibly offensive, I realize, but here goes...witness the abuse for yourselves:

What I fail to understand is this ~ a photograph is one moment in time. Now, many of us judge things by the pictures we see, but really, how much do we know without being there, being involved and understanding all the facts surrounding any one, singular photograph?

As has been stated previously, there is only so much we can possibly know about the details of any particular photograph without being there. If we are going to attack based on a picture, we need more background (unless ~ yes, there are a couple of caveats ~ something obviously and noticeably dangerous is going on, there is obvious abuse or something similar). There is just no way, shape or form most of us can possibly know for certain what preceded or followed the taking of any photograph unless we were present at it's taking.

When the afore-posted picture was initially ripped apart on the Fugly Horse of the Day blog in the comments section, this is what I posted in response to that attack:

I actually use a bitting rig during groundwork (bitting & longeing), and, of course, use the bitting harness itself for longline/ground driving work. Funny thing is, the picture being bitched about was from a very quick impromptu photo session as the sun was starting to set...and the horse is in a double bridle ~ I never bit my horses (nor longline them) in the double! Sigh. :)

Perhaps in light of the existence of this photograph, and its presence on my website, I should retract the part about "never" bitting my horses in the double bridle. Here is photographic PROOF that I did, after all!! Shame on me.

Herein lies the rub, do any of the few who took offense to this singular picture on my website actually know anything about my training program? My horses? My clients' horses? How all of the above are trained? No. Are they present for the day-to-day training sessions on any horse I work, ride or have in training? Indeed not. Have any of them, at any time, seen me work, school, ride or show a horse? Have they any clue whatsoever about things that go on here, or how any of my horses, or my clients' horses, are worked, schooled, ridden or shown? Naturally, the answer to that is also a resounding no.

So there you have it, such a horribly abusive picture, from my very own website, offered up for public consumption and critique. But to be fair, the only way in which you are allowed to critique this photo is if you have firsthand knowledge of what fantastical horror the horse endured in order to capture that one moment in time. Right? Right. ;)

Have a GREAT day!!



  1. Ok I have to ask, if it was a one tineme thing fine. Gut why post it on your website?It doesn't serve you any purppose and I am sure you mustr have other ,better photos of this or other horses. The thing that threw me was not so much the double bridle (though why on a greenie) but the side reins attached to the curb shanks of the bridle, It just looks like a trainwreck looking to happen.You may choose not to post this , OK fine , but still why?

  2. There are no side reins attached to the curb bit, and actually nothing attached the curb rein to the surcingle. One set of side reins was used, attached from the snaffle to the surcingle ~ the curb had a simple set of curb reins which were gently looped across the top ring of the surcingle and only buckled through it. No, not a train wreck about to happen.

    Interestingly, of the tens of thousands of folks who have seen my website and that picture, many of whom are horsemen and trainers I highly respect, not one of them has made any issue of any photograph on my site. Even after I have repeatedly made the disclaimer that I am not overly thrilled with a few of the pictures ~ you post what you have.

    On the other side of this issue, none of the folks on that other blog discussing this picture have ever seen me work any horse, at any time, anywhere. They do not know me, my horses, my business or anything else. Why is it so egregious for people to "jump to conclusions" about the owner of the other blog, yet perfectly acceptable to try to trash and destroy my reputation?

    I have posted your question, because I believe you have an honest concern. Hopefully you will answer mine as well.

  3. Ah, pictures. There have been numerous--and often critical--comments made (in letters to the editor) about pictures of dressage horses in Dressage Today magazine--horses competing in the Olympics, being schooled at training centers, ridden in clinics -- all going behind the vertical (and I'm not talking about the extreme-by-comparison rollkur used by Olympic gold medalists as a matter of course during their warmup. That is a topic for another time). As often noted in comments on the b/v pictures, the photo is just "a moment in time." One cannot make broad generalizations about the total training or riding of said horse based on a single picture.

    If there is a series of pictures with the same issue--or you audit the clinic or go to the show and SEE the entire ride and witness this "problem," THEN perhaps you can make some generalization about the training being done.

    But from a single picture? No.

    (BTW, I could not see the picture you're talking about. What appears on my screen is the angelfire "commercial." That said, my comment about "one moment in time" still stands).

  4. Ah, I was wondering about that. Thank you, TBDancer!!

    The link to the page this offending picture appears on is here. He is the third horse from the top, the bay gelding SF The Intimidator (kudos to those who know whom he was named after!). A link to the actual photograph is here.

    Let me know here if that does not work. Silly me, I simply pulled the picture off my website instead of loading the actual image from my hard drive. Oooops!! :)

    I have always believed that all good horsemen and horsewomen understand the concept of "one moment in time" as it pertains to photographs. Apparently not all people do.

    This boils down to character assassination plain and simple, and begs the question ~ is this one photograph the only thing they can find to use against me? If so, which is what it appears, perhaps they should spend more time getting their own lives together, and perhaps riding their own horses. ;)

  5. You should know by now one oops fans the flames...

  6. The point is, phaedra, that the photograph in question wasn't an "oops". My pulling that photo off my website to place in my blog, as opposed to posting the original photograph from my computer itself was the "oops".

    Why is character assassination acceptable to some, particularly when those doing the majority of the assassinating have literally dozens of skeletons in their closet, nothing is ever their fault and the record of their transgressions are all easily found public record?

    On second hand, you do not have to answer that. The answer is clear. Jealousy is not a pretty thing, though I understand when some have a basis for feeling such emotions.

  7. And with that, my friends, this topic is closed for discussion.

    Feel free to email me with your concerns, questions and any other query related to this subject matter:

    For the record, this email account (along with my others as well as multiple other online accounts) are all now being monitored by the FBI and local law enforcement. If IP addresses other than my own are found to be accessing my accounts, this is being noted.

    Thank you.


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